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Intermodal shipping uses multiple modes of transportation to move freight, transferring it from one mode to another (ship, aircraft, rail, truck, barge, etc.) without additional handling of the cargo. This is accomplished primarily through the use of containerization.
Intermodal utilization produces a number of significant benefits:
- By using the mode of transportation most suitable to the cargo, distance involved and geography to be covered, fuel costs are reduced. Especially for shipments covering a long distance, fuel savings alone can have a substantial impact on the bottom line.
- Carbon footprint reduction. For example: A truck moving one ton of cargo gets about 60 miles per gallon, whereas a rail shipment moving one ton of cargo gets about 200 miles per gallon.
- Intermodal shipping moves cargo through the supply chain as quickly as possible. Without containerization, cargo must be transferred from one mode of shipping to another, pallet by pallet, unit by unit — or in some cases, item by item. This is time consuming and, depending on logistical considerations, may necessitate cargo being held in a transfer warehouse for a considerable time.
- With well-integrated intermodal transportation, overall shipping costs are greatly reduced. The overall savings is driven mainly by fuel cost savings, delivery speed (both mentioned above) and economies of scale achieved by the intermodal shipper.
- Intermodal facilitates safe and secure transport. Because containerized cargo does not need to be handled when being transferred from one mode of transportation to another, there is less opportunity for damage, theft or exposure of materials to hostile environmental conditions.
Is Intermodal Shipping Right for Your Business?
Intermodal services work well for companies that have ongoing inbound and/or outbound shipping requirements that cover a distance of 500 miles or more. Extremely valuable or extremely inexpensive cargo may or may not be suitable — check with our intermodal logistics specialists to discuss the details of your specific requirements. In general:
- If you are relying on truck transportation to move cargo regionally or across country, shifting to rail for long stretches of distance and using trucks for short-distance hauling to the destination is a strong possibility.
- If you are currently working with multiple shipping/3PL firms to move cargo, consolidating with Unyson, a leader in integrated intermodal transportation, could significantly streamline your supply chain and reduce cost.
Why Use Unyson for Intermodal Services
Unyson offers fully integrated intermodal transportation solutions. By optimizing and managing your cargo transport from beginning to end, you can take advantage of all the benefits of intermodal shipping: reduced fuel costs, reduced carbon footprint, faster delivery time, reduced overall shipping costs, and improved cargo safety and security.
In addition, our sophisticated technology platform enables us to track cargo in real time; give you easy access to status reports, performance versus KPI reports, and other vital data; and bring consistency and uniformity to your inbound and outbound transportation processes.
Contact Us Now
If you would like more information about our intermodal shipping services and to discuss your challenges and objectives, please contact us now.