Advantages of Intermodal Freight Transportation

Intermodal Freight Transportation

Key Takeaways

  • Intermodal freight transportation can be significantly cheaper for business owners because it offers lower operational costs.
  • Intermodal shipping is safer and more environmentally friendly.
  • Provides an economical means for transporting virtually any type of cargo.

Intermodal freight transportation, more commonly referred to as intermodal shipping, has become an increasingly popular method of moving cargo in the U.S. The term itself refers to the use of two or more types of shipping vehicles to deliver goods, rather than relying on just one mode of transportation such as trucking or rail transport. You might wonder what the advantages are of using this method and how it could potentially benefit your company’s logistics network. 

Let’s look at a few ways that intermodal freight transport can benefit your business.

What is Intermodal Freight?

An intermodal shipment is one that uses two or more modes of transportation when delivering cargo containers to and from their final destination. For example, a truck might carry a shipping container from a port to a train terminal, and then it’s loaded onto another truck that delivers it to its final destination. This method of transporting goods has become increasingly popular in the 21st-century, changing how companies move their products. 

What Role Does Intermodal Freight Play in the Supply Chain?

The sheer amount of freight that needs to be transported every day is a significant factor in why intermodal freight transportation has become such a powerful force in today’s global logistics market. It has evolved into an economical means for transporting virtually any type of cargo. Compared with over-the-road shipping, which primarily uses trucks, it is also safer and more environmentally friendly. 

Shipping containers play a crucial role in helping to transport all types of goods—including raw materials, finished products, and even live animals—from one point on Earth to another. They allow companies to use different modes of transport throughout their supply chains rather than limiting themselves exclusively to trucking. While intermodal freight transport has existed for decades, it’s becoming increasingly popular with businesses due to higher fuel costs and other logistical benefits. 

But what are some of those benefits? Let’s take a look at some of them below.

Advantages of Intermodal Freight Transportation 

When compared to standard road-based shipping methods, intermodal freight transportation can be significantly cheaper for business owners because it offers lower operational costs. The use of intermodal freight transportation has grown considerably in recent years as customers have become increasingly aware and demanded increased efficiency and cost savings. Shippers enjoy additional cost savings with intermodal transportation due to eliminating or reducing packing and unpacking costs for handling at origin and destination. 

Additional advantages include reduced damage rates and reduced inventory storage space requirements. In addition, when using an intermodal service provider, there is no need to purchase a trucking license or hire extra drivers. This allows shippers to focus on their core competencies while outsourcing other logistics services. 

The main advantage of using an intermodal freight service is that you can ship your goods farther distances at lower costs than if you were to use just one mode of transportation. This means you can save money on fuel, equipment maintenance, and labor costs while still getting your products where they need to go in a timely manner.

How to Find the Best Intermodal Trucking Company for Your Needs

When deciding which intermodal freight transportation company to use, first determine your needs. Do you need a full-service carrier that will manage all aspects of your shipping process? Or do you prefer to use a broker that specializes in matching businesses with trucks already headed in their direction? The choice is yours, but it’s important to consider several things when choosing an intermodal trucking company: state requirements, transit time, and cost. 

Interested in learning how intermodal trucking can benefit your business? Give us a call today to see how Sunburst Truck Lines can help you.