Many shippers now consider intermodal solutions as they have realized that its more beneficial to combine rail and truck transport. This method of shipping reduces cargo handling, reduces damage and loss, improves security and lets the freight to be transported faster. It provides reduced costs over road trucking.
The concept of intermodal transportation started in the 18th century. These were used for shipping coals. Wooden coal containers were used on railways during the 1830s. Covered containers were apparent in the 1900s. In the 1950s, intermodal container started to revolutionize the freight transportation. The world’s first container ship was the White Pass and Yukon Route. Containers were introduced in railways in 1956. The use of containers increased in the 1960s. Between 1980 and 2002, the rail intermodal traffic tripled. Lot of money were invested in intermodal freight projects. A new method for intermodal shipping was introduced in 1984. This was known as the double-stack rail transport. Now this mechanism is very common. This design reduces damage in transit and gives more cargo security. More than one million containers are shipped per year through intermodal shipments.
Intermodal rail container carrier 3PL is now widely available. Shippers prefer intermodal solutions for a number of reasons. Intermodal provides give better value than highway. Rail transportation is more energy efficient. So, through intermodal solutions you will be ‘going green’. The freight costs are also less in case of intermodal solutions. Today, the fuel prices have increased and there is shortage of drivers. The new government policies now restrict hours of service on the road. So, shipping through only truck has become a challenge. Using intermodal transport shippers can reduce cost and improve service.
In order to include intermodal in their logistic strategies, the shippers must first analyze the lanes. They need to identify through which parts of the country the loads are coming in and going out. If the haul is longer, you will save more with intermodal service. Next, the shipper should compare the zonal rates and decide which one is fit for them. With intermodal service, handling costs are reduced. As a result, the overall price becomes less. Carbon footprint can be reduced by going intermodal. Trains only emit 5.4 pounds of carbon dioxide every 100 ton-miles. On the other hand, trucks emit 19.8 pounds of carbon dioxide every 100 ton-miles. With intermodal option, the shippers can have better access to equipment. They also have standard transit schedules. So, you who want to save on your shipping costs, you should go intermodal.