What Is Intermodal Freight Transport

What Is Intermodal Freight Transport

Transporters use different modes of freight transport to keep the costs low and deliver the goods from the shipper to the consignee in the most efficient way. One mode of freight transport is Intermodal Freight Transport. This is when the goods are transported in an intermodal container allowing the transporters to change transportation mediums between trucks, ships, and trains without handling the freight itself.

Intermodal freight transport protects goods from damage and fastens the delivery by saving the time between container changes. Let's take a deeper look into Intermodal Freight Transport.

Understanding Intermodal Freight Transport

Intermodal freight transport requires specialized containers that meet the standards of ISO, allowing the goods to remain in the same container throughout the journey instead of using different containers whenever changing mod of transport. However, some confuse intermodal freight transport with multimodal transport.

Multimodal transport is where the carrier is liable for the entire carriage, as it is with the intermodal freight transport, but it is done under a single contract. In comparison, intermodal freight transport consists of several contracts. Each mode of transportation will have a different contract that will only be liable when the transporter's service was used to transport the container from point A to point B.

Benefits of Intermodal Freight Transportation

You can imagine intermodal freight transport as highly advantageous by not shifting carriages between the shipping. These reasons are businesses globally are dumping other modes of transport for intermodal transport:

Reduced Cost

Rail transport is the most used transportation mode in intermodal freight transport. Since rail is the most fuel-efficient transportation mode for large consignments, it saves costs by huge margins. Depending on the weight and length of the container, rail transport can save cost by 10-40%.

Intermodal freight transport also requires less labor since the goods only need to be loaded at the start point and loaded off when delivered. Therefore, lesser handling is required, and the labor costs reduced evidently. The utilization of rail also offers a reduced cost per ton, further cutting down the shipper's cost.

Greater Access to Capacity

Intermodal freight transport offers enormous capacities, with the containers meeting the minimum size requirements of the ISO. Many containers are usually shipped together through trucks, rail or ships since they offer a massive load capacity. So the transporters don't rely on different labor to transport the consignments. This can be done by only the couple of people needed to operate the ship or rail, thanks to the operational nature of intermodal transport.

Increased Safety

Safety is the most crucial part of transportation. Even the lower costs won't matter if the goods are stolen or damaged while transporting. Therefore, shippers prefer intermodal transport to keep their consignments safe as intermodal transport decreases the chance of loss due to any unfortunate events. 99.9% of the rail shipments reach their destination safely.