Why Should I Use Intermodal Transportation?

The container terminal at port

Any professional distributor knows that inefficiency in transporting goods from point to point can take a real bite into profits. Rather than seeking out the best rates on trucking or shipping services, many are choosing instead to use an economical combination of multiple method of conveyance – this is referred to as “intermodal transportation”.

Take a look at just a few of the reasons why incorporating more than one mode of transportation might be the right choice for your business:


Intermodal transportation is safe

Whenever cargo is moved, there is a small inherent risk of damage. And since changing over from one form of transportation to another means adding an extra iteration of loading and unloading to the transit process, some distributors may be inclined to fear using more than one mode. Rest assured that codified regulations on lift technology, safety requirements, and maintenance habits exist to ensure that you have little to worry about as regards the possibility of damage to your valuable cargo.

Intermodal transportation is reliable

You might think that any intermediary steps in the shipping process could only possibly add problems, but modern technologies have more or less rendered potential complications a thing of the past. Shipments can often (depending on the carrier) be geo-located in real-time, thanks to RFID tracking, and these scans ensure that both you and the freight handlers can receive up-to-date information on the cargo load’s condition, requirements, and when it has arrived or departed a facility.

Intermodal transportation is affordable

There’s no denying the value of trucking, especially given the nation’s sprawling network of roads and the fact that not all warehouses, storefronts, and other destinations can realistically be located at ports or alongside railways. But incorporating trains into the freight route (with trucks ferrying goods to and from the rail depots) allows shippers to take advantage of their exceptional fuel and space efficiency: the average cargo train moving 1 ton of freight almost four times further than a truck utilizing the same amount of fuel. And along those lines…

Intermodal transportation is environmentally friendly

Not only does using intermodal transportation mean that you can cut down on fuel requirements, it also keeps highway congestion to a minimum by keeping long-haul truck numbers lower. This, in turn, means less exhaust from extensive idling (and fewer commuter headaches) for those on the road. CO2 emissions from trains themselves are considerably lower as well.