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Intermodal transportation

What is Intermodal in Logistics? Different Types of Intermodal Transportation

The top priority of any business in the logistics industry is to be able to move shipments from one place to another to deliver them to the correct destination as soon as possible. To accomplish such a vast operation, the freight forwarding industry constantly finds innovative ways to optimize shipping and transportation processes. When it comes to shipping requirements, freight managers have several options to choose from. A shipper’s primary goal is to balance the lowest price and get the best services from the carriers.

Intermodal freight forwarders have been a game changer for the logistics and transportation industry and have carried it to unprecedented heights. This versatile strategy involves multiple means of transportation to deliver shipments globally. Let’s define intermodal transportation and its types in detail.

What Is Intermodal Transportation?

The word ‘Intermodal’ means using two or more modes of conveyance for moving freight. Intermodal carrier transportation offers a combination of transport solutions: air (plane), land (truck or train), waterways (barge and boat), and sea (cargo). The brokers involved in intermodal logistics are committed to transporting the goods from point A to point B.

Intermodal shipping services are always unique suppliers involved; thus, there are individual contracts. Several intermodal freight forwarders join forces in completing this task within the same itinerary, yet using different transport modes: train, plane, truck, and barge, for instance.

4 Different Types of Intermodal Transportation

Intermodal carrier transportation is a versatile freight forwarder approach that integrates various transportation modes to deliver the loads seamlessly. These modes include – road to rail, rail to ship, air to rail, and ship to rail.

We have discussed 4 types of intermodal transportation in detail below:

  • Road-to-Rail (Truck and Train)

Road-to-rail intermodal transportation refers to the combination of truck and rail transportation. In this mode of transport, goods are transported by trucks to rail terminals, then loaded onto trains to move across long distances. This integration of modes is widespread as it allows for the efficient handling of goods over long distances and reduces the reliance on road transportation, which can be slow and expensive.

  • Rail-to-Ship (Train and Ship)

Rail-to-ship intermodal transportation combines rail and ship transportation. This mode of transport is well-suited to moving goods from inland locations to ports were container ships transport cargo to overseas destinations. Moving goods via rail reduces the time spent in transit and costs associated with road transportation while reducing the likelihood of accidents related to trucking.

  • Air-to-Rail (Airplane and Train)

Air-to-rail transportation is the process of moving goods via airplane and train. In this mode of transportation, goods are transported by air to airports, loaded onto trains, and transported to their destination. This mode of transportation enables the transportation of goods at high speed, with fewer risks of damage to the goods in transit.

  • Ship-to-Rail (Ship and Train)

Finally, the ship-to-rail refers to the combination of shipping and rail transportation. Goods are transported by ship to port terminals, where they’re then loaded onto trains and transported to their final destination. This mode of transportation is ideal for long-distance transportation, and using rail transport reduces the cost and time taken to transport goods to their final destination.

2 Most Common Types of Intermodal Carriers:

The most common type of intermodal container carrier used for global trades is the standard dry cargo container, also known as a “dry van” or “general purpose container.” These carriers come in standardized sizes and are designed to transport a wide range of dry goods, including manufactured goods, raw materials, and consumer products.

  • TEU – Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (20-foot container): This size is commonly used for transporting smaller shipments or when space constraints are a concern. It’s widely used in both maritime and land-based transportation.
  • FEU – Fourth Foot Equivalent Unit (40-foot container): This larger size is commonly used for transporting larger volumes of cargo and is often more cost-effective for larger shipments due to economies of scale.

Even though specialized carriers are available for certain types of goods, standard dry cargo containers are still the preferred option for most intermodal shipments since they are widely available and reasonably priced.

Why Do You Need Intermodal Carrier Services?

Intermodal transportation service is about finding the proper loads from shippers to make the entire delivery process hassle-free and deliver it to the customers on time. Intermodal carriers have become the backbone of the freight industry because of their numerous benefits. Here are seven benefits of intermodal carrier service providers:

1. Fast delivery

One of the advantages of intermodal transportation is that it results in quick freight movement. This reduces the cost and time needed for loading, unloading, and issuing documentation. If we use railways and ferries for logistics important for business, it eliminates unnecessary stops that take too much time.

For instance, the rail and air combination works best for long-distance transportation, while the rail and road combination works best for regional or local transportation. By using multiple modes of transportation, intermodal transportation can achieve faster turnaround times and reduce delivery lead times.

2. Lower Cost

You can minimize transportation costs by transporting freight via intermodal shipping. Railways and truck services help save more because railways use less fuel and can travel long miles. Thus, long overhauls won’t be a problem anymore!!

For instance, rail transport is cheaper than road transport, while air transport is faster but more expensive. By combining different modes of transportation, businesses can achieve an optimal balance between cost and speed.

3. Easy Handling

Intermodal shipping includes containers that do not require individual handling and can easily fit into any space. They are easy to use, so it takes less effort to move the shipment.

For example, the transportation containers used in the process are designed to allow for easy transfer between modes of transportation. This reduces the need for cargo handling, which can cause damage to goods, thereby ensuring safe and timely delivery of goods.

4. Good Capacity

You can use intermodal trucks when and wherever needed. Many logistics companies now use intermodal transportation because of its reasonable price and quality.

For example, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes can all be used depending on the weight, volume, and type of goods transported. This ensures businesses can transport goods at any volume, size, or weight without worrying about capacity constraints.

5. Quality and Safe Service

Logistics trucking companies provide one of the fastest services that guarantee secure and reliable cargo dispatch. There is less chance of mishaps as trains travel on a fixed track. This allows you to quickly unload and load cargo, which speeds up the shipping process.

Additionally, the transport companies involved in intermodal transportation must adhere to strict safety regulations, ensuring that the goods arrive at their destination in the same condition as they were dispatched.

6. Convenience

Intermodal transportation has advanced so much today. It is convenient, reliable, and safe. Shippers do not have to worry about shipping as intermodal logistics have made shipments easier and more accurate.

Different modes of transportation allow buses to transport goods to various regions, cities, or countries without worrying about the logistics of each mode. This provides convenience for businesses, as they can concentrate on their core operations while leaving the transportation logistics to the experts.

7. Flexible Transportation

Freight movement is flexible under intermodal transport. However, if you have an effective plan, you can save more. The flexibility of intermodal transportation comes from its ability to adapt to different weather, road, and terrain conditions. T

This ensures that goods can be transported under almost any condition, making it an ideal option for businesses that require transportation across different regions or terrains.

Final Words

Intermodal transportation is a significant advancement in freight forwarding and shipping that allows shippers to cut expenses, improve efficiency, and protect the environment.

US Ravens is laying the groundwork for various shippers by connecting them with reliable logistics broker. Visit our website now!!!