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