When shipping products and raw materials long distances, you want them to have as little exposure to be as secure as possible. Your shipments might have to get moved from one container to another before moving onto the next leg of its journey.
With intermodal freight shipping, you bypass any possible tampering with your shipment and streamline the process. But what are the advantages of intermodal freight transportation and how does it work?
What is Intermodal Freight and When Should You Use It?
Intermodal freight refers to transport in a container that isn’t changed between different carriers. Your shipment can go between different vehicles, such as ships and trucks, without any delay.
Intermodal freight carriers are most well-known for their use of railway shipping methods. However, they also utilize other, more standard methods of freight shipping.
Your company may want to make use of this type of transportation if you’re moving loads long distances. That way, you don’t have to worry about a truck’s fuel consumption as much, since they’ll only carry it a part of the way.
What Are the Advantages Of Intermodal Freight Transportation?
All shippers should implement some kind of intermodal transportation. It’s a lower-cost alternative to truckload, it’s better for the environment, and there’s an increased level of security.
Since the delivery never stops, no one can access the container. The utilization of the railroad helps to reduce highway congestion. It also saves money on fuel, which in turn means less pollution.
Most importantly, it’s easier to monitor because there’s no chance a shipment will get held up at a storage facility.
Intermodal freight carriers aren’t the only ones who benefit from this type of transportation, however.
In 2020 alone, intermodal freight companies accounted for about a quarter of revenue for U.S. railroads. It’s also been one of the fastest-growing major segments for the rail industry.
How Do I Get Started?
If you’re considering intermodal, consider your inventory and the distances you’re shipping. Complete a cost/benefit analysis to see how it will benefit you.
You should be able to find an intermodal savings calculator online to compare options.
Make sure to get assurances on visibility. There should be no excuses, like trains having delays and such.
While tracking a truck is easier than a shipping container bouncing between different types of transportation, it is possible to keep track of it regardless. A service provider should be able to track your container the same way as FedEx and UPS track parcel shipments every step of the way.
Improve Your Business with Intermodal Shipping
The intermodal freight model has been growing steadily every year. Not only does it rely less on road transportation, which is becoming more expensive, but it also provides more security.
Although multimodal transportation with a single company can be more convenient, picking and choosing individual companies for intermodal shipping can save you money over time.
If you’re interested, try out Genex. We offer intermodal, less-than-truckload, warehousing, and more. Contact us today to get a free quote.