What is Intermodal Shipping?

by | Feb 28, 2018 | Less Than Truckload

Are you looking for a cost-effective way to transport your product throughout the manufacturing and sales funnel? Intermodal shipping is a popular option in the United States thanks to its flexibility, convenience, and affordability.

At Amware, we want to make sure our clients know all of the options they have for shipping their products. Keep reading to learn more about intermodal shipping, then contact the team at Amware to find out if it’s the right shipping method for your business model.

What is intermodal shipping?

What is Intermodal Shipping?

Intermodal shipping is a freight shipping method utilizing two transport methods: truck and rail. Each year, about 25 million containers are transported using this method of shipping.

Rail transport is convenient but limited in location. Truck transport is a little less efficient but offers an extension in delivery location options. Using rail and truck together gives the shipper the convenience and flexibility of both transport methods.

Why Use Intermodal Shipping?

Intermodal shipping offers quite a few benefits, particularly for companies looking to save on the cost of using only one method of shipping. There are several benefits of using intermodal shipping:

  • Using the railway system means you can save on the cost of fuel, since rail uses less fuel than road transportation.
  • Intermodal shipping is not only a financial decision but also an environmental one, since less fuel means less emissions.
  • Paying for full truckload can be expensive. A much more affordable alternative for making additional dock space for an upcoming shipment is paying a minimal dropped intermodal container fee.
  • The rail system in the US is excellent, making it possible to reliably ship from coast to coast. Using intermodal shipping, you can take advantage of the associated cost-savings, as well as the convenience and reliability of the rail system.

Intermodal Shipping FAQ

Which Shipments Should Use Intermodal Shipping?

If you have a shipment making a particularly long haul, or one in which you’re utilizing freight and LTL shipping to save on cost, intermodal shipping might be a good option. Typically, hauls delivered within 200 to 300 miles of a major metropolitan area benefit from intermodal shipping.

What is Drayage Service?

In your intermodal shipment, you may be utilizing both rail and trucking transport. The short-distance trucking within the longer freight shipment is the “drayage” service.

Where to Arrange Intermodal Shipping

The only challenge we can see with intermodal shipping is that the process might be more complex to manage than single-transport shipping. The experts at Amware can navigate the whole process from shipping contracts to tracking and tracing, so you can spend your time tracking profits not shipments.

For all of your shipping logistics needs, contact the experts at Amware. Our team of professionals are experts who handle all of the complex logistics of getting your products where they need to go. Ready to learn more? Get in touch today.

About Brad Mullins

About Brad Mullins

Brad Mullins is the Chief Operating Officer at Amware and is responsible for ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of all Amware's business practices. His effort and expertise in business management and transportation logistics, combined with a focus on positive customer experience, have had a direct and positive impact on Amware's clients, agents, partners, and vendors.