Intermodal transportation is the use of two or more freights or carriers to deliver goods from a unique shipper to a consignee. Typically, intermodal transportation can take place on trucks, ships, and/or freight trains. Transporters collect the goods from the manufacturer and deliver them to the end customer. Intermodal transportation takes advantage of special types of steel containers that make transferring between multiple modes of transportation safe and easy. For several modes of transport, a 3PL manages the different carriers to get your goods to their end destination quickly and efficiently with intermodal shipping.
Types of Intermodal Transportation
There are two types of intermodal transportation
- Trailer-On-Flatcar (TOF) – This is a type of intermodal transportation method of placing an over-the-road trailer instantly on the well-car.
- Container-On-Flatcar (COFC) – This type of intermodal transportation is the most affordable and successful method for shipping because it can be loaded with four containers on the well-car at one time.
Process Of Intermodal Transportation
During intermodal transport goods stay in one container throughout transportation on one or more forms of transport, typically rail and over-the-road trucking. This keeps goods safe since they are not loaded and unloaded multiple times, and keeps costs lower, using the most efficient form of transportation available. In general, here is the process for intermodal transportation:
- A truck that will bring an empty container to pick up the goods.
- Then, the goods will be loaded into the empty container with cargo and sent to the railroad site.
- The goods are then placed on a train and shipped to their destination.
- At the destination site, the container is removed from the train and transported by another truck to the consignee.
- The container is unloaded at its final destination and once empty, the container can be used for another load.
Cost of Intermodal Transportation Services
In general, the cost of intermodal transport depends on the price of fuel and the linehaul rate, and the total transport distance. In that event, intermodal pricing tends to be very competitive.
According to the AAR or Association of American Railroads, the USA freight railroads can transport one ton of freight more than 470 miles per gallon of fuel, on average.
At East Coast Transport, we optimize clients’ transportation needs and use the most efficient and cost-effective solution. We can reduce your shipping costs through flexible, adaptable intermodal solutions.
Benefits Of Intermodal Transportation
- Lower Costs: In any mode of intermodal transportation, containers require less handling since no loading or unloading is necessary making the process easy and well-organized. For long-haul trucking, trains use much less diesel than trucks and reduce transportation costs.
- Quality Service: With intermodal transport services, our valued clients count on 3PLs to manage quality carriers and deliver cost-effective and flexible intermodal transportation services.
- Increase Shipment Safety: Trains are on a fixed track and are less likely to be in an accident and can be safer than over-the-road trucking service. Additionally, the container remains locked, reducing the risk of breakage due to handling and packing as well as theft or security of goods.
- Environmental Advantages: Less fuel used means fewer emissions during transportation. Intermodal transportation can help you reach your environmental goals and requirements.
Growth of the Intermodal Transportation Service Market
With increased infrastructure spending, connections between ports and railways will become more efficient. However, many still require the use of a truck to move goods between the two.
Some factors are accelerating the growth of the intermodal transportation market including helpful trade policies, expansion in the manufacturing sector, and a rise in investment in infrastructure development.
Technavio market research analysis conveys a complete outlook and in-depth analysis of the intermodal freight transportation market. It is expected to increase by $50.45 million during 2021-2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.38%.
Conquer the East Coast’s New Intermodal Landscape with East Coast Transport, LLC
East Coast Transport has been in the freight transport business for 40 years. We have the equipment, technology, and knowledge to keep your products safe while quickly transporting them. Our team of professionals have a great understanding of the logistics of intermodal transportation and national and international regulations used in the industry. We tailor our transportation services to your business and its needs and specialize in customer satisfaction.