California Intermodal Shipping

California Intermodal Shipping

California Intermodal Shipping

Shippers in California are faced with a choice between direct trucking or intermodal trucking. Intermodal freight transportation involves two or more modes of transportation. This process could be a combination of sea, rail, road, and air. Packages are usually transported in intermodal containers, which are used across each platform, preventing the need to offload and on load at terminals. When inland, the choice is usually between road transportation, using trucks, or a mix of road and rail transportation. Businesses tend to lean towards a decision that limits the disadvantage of a single mode, like road and affords the benefits of another mode, for example, rail. 

Benefits of Intermodal Shipping

The advantages of intermodal transportation can be effective when this method is selected accordingly to your business strategy. We will look at some of these cases later in the article.

Saves Time: 

Intermodal trucking saves time that can be lost to speed limits, mandatory breaks, weighs stations, and unfavorable traffic patterns encountered over long distances.

Cost Effective

The addition of rail transportation into the process cuts down the high costs associated with road trucking. High fuel costs for drayage, personnel, and handling can all be reduced by a flexible intermodal model.

Safe and Secure

The use of GPS trackers in rail cars and the presence of consistent railroad police have made rail transportation a lot safer than others. Integrating it into road transportation will reduce the chances of packaging becoming lost. 


Intermodal trucking could reduce up to a third of the road transport CO2 emissions depending on how much road trucking is involved.

The difference with Multimodal Shipping

When you decide to use multiple modes of transportation, there is still a choice to be made between intermodal shipping and multimodal shipping. Both are similar in that your package will be transported using different modes of transportation. However, they differ on the bases of the contract. Multimodal makes use of a single contract with a single carrier who takes liability for all the modes of transportation from source to destination. The key benefit here is that it is easy to track, as it uses a combined transport bill of lading. In case there are any issues, the shipper can hold one carrier responsible. 

Intermodal shipping, on the other hand, will require separate contracts for the carriers at the different points along the supply chain. This is ideal for flexibility because the shipper can decide which carrier, at each point, meets their key criteria regarding cost and services offered. 

When to choose Intermodal Transportation

There are certain moments when Intermodal shipping is best suited for your business. One example is when your shipments need to travel long distances, especially if it takes more than one day to transport by truck. Also, if your business will be shipping in a reoccurring pattern, that is, similar quantities through the same route, Intermodal transportation is ideal.




Less than truckload (LTL) shipping is a form of transportation of goods and products that don’t require a full truckload, due to the nature and size of the cargo being transported. Shipping of goods and products is done by arranging the goods into small pallets and can range anywhere from one hundred pounds to ten thousand pounds. LTL shipping is the type of shipping that combines several goods from a variety of shippers and puts them together in an efficient manner. Most shippers prefer to use LTL because it is cost-effective and flexible.

LTL shipping in California is quite reliable and offers a safe way of getting your goods to your desired destination without much of a hassle. Before we look into the benefits of shipping your goods with LTL, let’s look into how LTL shipping works.

How LTL Shipping Works

With LTL shipping, partial loads are combined to create full, multi-stop truckloads, which is very efficient. Clients pay for space used, the kind of goods in transit, and pickup and destination locations.

LTL freight can be shipped standard, expedited, or guaranteed. Also, LTL freight can be shipped with special services such as lift gate pickup/delivery, inside pickup/delivery, residential pickup/delivery, and reclassification. All of these additional services come with an extra fee called assessorial fees.

Benefits of LTL Shipping

Now that we all know what LTL shipping is and how it works, let’s talk about the benefits of using LTL shipping.


Each truckload is made of several smaller shipments which are combined into one truckload. Since your cargo does not occupy the whole space, you don’t have to pay for the entire space – you only pay for the space covered by your cargo. Therefore, your cost will only be a fraction of the whole truckload.

Environmental friendliness

The LTL shipping requires few trucks to carry full loads for several clients rather than more trucks carrying less capacity. Fewer trucks on the road mean fewer emissions which is great for the environment.

Works best for small businesses

Small businesses can benefit from LTL shipping since they ship fewer goods and hence can spend less money on freight as compared to larger businesses. LTL shipping gives small businesses the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits that larger companies get, without paying the high cost for space they are not using.