International trade relies on consistent delivery, or products will not arrive on time. However, transporting products from their origination point to their destination is easy. Your shipments may be delayed if you are stuck relying on antiquated methods. Everyone should know a few things about intermodal transportation and its advantages.
What Is Intermodal Transportation?
First and foremost, logistics managers must learn about intermodal trucking companies. These companies do not strictly utilize trucks to ferry items, but it does comprise a large portion of their business. Nevertheless, intermodal transportation encompasses multiple varieties of transportation, including sea- and air-based methodologies.
Typically, the defining factor that qualifies a shipment as intermodal is using more than one technique. When goods are swapped between modes, freight is not handled directly. Therefore, the goods are shipped using several technologies, such as rail and ship.
Logistically, this technique has numerous advantages, so it has been adopted across the board. First, since companies expend fewer resources on transportation, they can enhance their profitability.
At each leg of the journey, cargo can be transferred between vehicles without handling individual items. The resulting efficiency improvements buoy profit, and there is a reduced need for the human workforce.
What Are the Benefits of Intermodal Transport?
Generally, company owners report three primary benefits associated with this approach. First, as workers handle boxes less often, cargo handling decreases, eliminating potential mishaps. Furthermore, security is less of an issue, as fewer people interact with the cargo’s contents.
In addition to security enhancements, approaching transportation like this also reduces damage. Moreover, the length of time required to finalize a shipment is lowered. Consequently, overall costs drop, leaving more in the company’s pockets at the end of the day.
Under examination, one benefit emerges as the clear driver of inter-continental use. It is less expensive to rely on intermodal methodologies than to stick with trucking alone. Thus, organizations can maintain adequate supplies without overinvesting in trucks.
If an organization supplies parts to an isolated village, airplanes may be the only way to deliver items. However, working with experienced companies can expand the number of places delivery is possible. Consequently, the total pool of possible customers is expanded, strengthening a company’s market position.
Sustainability is another huge advantage of this type of shipping. For example, trains can move one ton of freight 479 miles while only burning through a single gallon of gasoline. On the contrary, a massive truck might only go 10 to 20 miles burning the same amount of fuel. Usually, a fully loaded intermodal train can eliminate 280 trucks off the road, alleviating traffic congestion and pollution.
Types of Intermodal Containers
Containerization trends have been developing since the dawn of the industrial revolution. However, modern ISO standards are implemented in most ports, depots, and transportation nodes. These possess ISO-defined dimensions so that anyone can interact with them.
Handling equipment varies to accommodate the three most popular sizes used today. A larger container may be suitable depending on the quantity of cargo delivered. Nevertheless, shippers should speak to the destination port and ensure they can get handling equipment. Otherwise, unloading the stuff will be impossible, even after arriving there.
Types of Intermodal Shipment Methods
Trucks are one of the most frequently implemented methods of transportation around the world, but they are not the only ones. In many cases, container ships transmit manufactured goods across the ocean.
Typically, these are built to hold containers on purpose, and some models can hold thousands at once. A ship’s deck can usually support stacks of seven containers, but they must meet the capacity limits of sea routes.
Railways are common in North America, and these cars resemble flatcars. Nonetheless, a depression in the middle allows two containers to stand on top of each other. Land bridges, planes, and barges are also popular means of transport.
Available methods depend on infrastructure, so consult a specialist about what applies. Since North American railway providers own ISO-compliant equipment, compatibility is rarely problematic.
Understanding Intermodal Shipping
Transportation costs can eat into corporate profits faster than many expenses. On the other hand, standardized shipping methods can minimize expenditures, improving quarterly yields. If your company is considering the switch, this information should help you be informed.