Intermodal shipping is a great and often underutilized method of transporting freight.
Moving freight by rail can often be cost efficient and has a lower carbon footprint than other transportation methods. Intermodal uses the U.S. Class 1 rail road system to transport freight all over North America.
When to Ship Using Intermodal Rail?
- Your shipment travels over 500 miles
- Your shipment weighs under 43,500 pounds
- Your shipment can be loaded into a container/trailer up to 53 feet in length
- Your shipment has a flexible transit schedule
What is Intermodal?
Intermodal, with regards to shipments in North America, refers to using a combination of rail roads and trucks to deliver freight. Typically, a drayage carrier will transport your freight to a terminal and your freight is then mounted on a train. The train then unloads at another terminal closer to the final destination. Finally, a second truck is used to deliver the freight from the train and to the consignee.
For shipments that aren’t time-sensitive, intermodal rail is a great fit for many shippers. You can ship a variety of commodities on rail, including food and beverage, electronics, construction equipment, and even chemicals. Air-ride train cars decrease the chance of damage, and trains are easily tracked electronically for frequent shipment updates. Additionally, when adverse weather impacts the transportation industry, including truckload capacity and rates, intermodal rail is a great alternative for truckload shipments.