Freightquote.com and its subsidiary Twin Modal have offered shippers the option of transporting their freight via intermodal transportation for many years. But why should a shipper consider using intermodal service? What are the benefits as compared to traditional truck carriage?
Intermodal transportation has certainly been on the rise in recent years. Intermodal is the transportation of freight in containers using several different modes of transportation. Technically, this could involve any combination of rail, truck, sea and air freight transport. Most commonly in the United States, though, it refers to a truck/rail combination.
The first benefit to using intermodal is generally reduced cost as compared to trucking in a cross-country trip. (Shorter trips are still less expensive over-the-road.) One reason is the lower fuel expense of rail transport in these days of greatly fluctuating fuel costs.
A second benefit for many shippers is the increased security and reduced damages resulting from less cargo handling. The cargo is loaded onto a container at the point of origin and is not usually touched until it is unloaded at its destination. Less handling means less opportunity for damage in most instances. (It should be noted though that not all products are appropriate for rail transport. Very fragile and very heavy freight should still travel over-the-road to be safe.)
Some shippers may be concerned about the added time that intermodal shipments require. While it is true that intermodal freight takes a bit longer, the transit times are actually getting better. The railroads are now offering much more consistent service and a direct coast-to-coast delivery now usually takes just over a week.
As more manufacturers consider their environmental impact, it may also be important to note that intermodal transportation uses less fuel and produces less pollution than roadway transport for the same freight and distance.
By using the freight quoting services at Freightquote.com, shippers can easily compare the transit times and costs associated with both intermodal and over-the-road shipments. The Freightquote system allows customers to view each option side-by-side before deciding which works best for them. Once a decision is made, booking the shipment is simple and easily managed from pick-up to delivery regardless of which mode is chosen.