In today’s world, there are a lot of ways to ship freight from one location to another. You can utilize air routes, sea, railways or even the road. You could use one of those options or you could utilize a mixture of them. This is often referred to as intermodal shipping. Many define Intermodal freight as the use of two or more modes of freight to transport goods from a shipper to a customer.
With so many different options, it can be difficult for a shipper to decide which option is most cost effective for their individual needs. Unlike road transport, using the railway systems does require less fuel than road transport, especially if you’re attempting to move freight across the country from a seaport to a distribution center further inland. Distribution centers are then used to sort and further distribute the goods on a smaller scale to other locations via truck. Many companies have found it beneficial to move centers such as these farther inland due to their ability to maximize reach in as little time as possible. You can read more about distribution centers in one of our previous blogs.
Many businesses have found that using intermodal shipping has been beneficial due to the nationwide driver shortage, increased fuel prices and the changing government policies regarding the restriction service hours on the road and capacity. Data also shows that shippers can significantly reduce their overall environmental impact by using intermodal methods. Trains only emit approximately 5.4 pounds of carbon dioxide per 100 ton-miles while trucks emit nearly 20 pounds.