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Economic Benefits from Intermodal Transportation

As technology continues to improve and global supply chains become increasingly advanced, the need for an effective intermodal transportation framework is obvious. However, for some with little intermodal experience, the decision to move forward can be filled with mixed emotions. The key is to understand the many benefits of intermodal transport and how they can help your business specifically.

The Current State of Intermodal Transportation

Ten, fifteen, and twenty years ago, intermodal transportation was only a shell of what it is today. Technological advancements have taken it from a basic form of transportation to a secure, efficient, economical, and, yes, even environmentally friendly way to ship. “Manufacturers used to ask, ‘What is Intermodal?’ Now we are at the point where most companies know what intermodal transportation is and see the benefits to using this mode to ship their goods,” says Jane Malamisura, owner of JEM Transportation.

The Benefits of Intermodal Transportation

According to Malamisura and other industry experts, the decision to choose intermodal transportation is obvious. There are dozens of benefits, and it makes sense for companies in a variety of industries. Here are a few of the ways intermodal transport can benefit your business – in both the long and short term.

  • Cost-effective. From a cost point of view, intermodal transportation is flexible. Intermodal rates have come down in recent years, while fuel expenses related to drayage have skyrocketed. When transporting goods more than 800 miles, intermodal rates are significantly cheaper than road trucking.
  • Environmentally friendly. What many companies don’t realize is that intermodal transportation can help improve their carbon footprint. Consider the following. Four trucks transporting 40,000 pounds each for 3,000 miles produces around 17.4 tons of carbon emissions. On the other hand, the same four trucks placed on a rail car only produce 7 tons of carbon pollution.
  • Efficient. Shipping intermodal saves time – which ultimately saves money. Instead of dealing with traffic patterns, disruptive weigh stations, and other issues associated with drayage, intermodal transports goods from point A to point B with fewer distractions and delays.
  • Scalable. During peak seasons, many companies are limited by their ability to scale logistical operations. However, for those with an intermodal framework, this is rarely an issue. A single train has the ability to move the load of 280 trucks. This access provides companies with what is essentially an entire fleet at their disposal.
  • Safe. Shipping via rail is considered to be much safer than other methods. Railroad police consistently monitor intermodal transportation, and it’s possible for shippers to place GPS trackers in rail cars to decrease the chances of losing shipments.

GTG Technology Group

At the GTG Technology Group, we believe the future of transportation and logistics is brighter than ever. That’s because we are one of the driving forces behind the technology that’s changing the face of the global supply chain. Our Intermodal Management System is one of the premier software solutions on the market and is able to provide you, the client, with end-to-end visibility every step of the way. For more information on our various TMS solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would be happy to schedule a free demo.

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1 thought on “Economic Benefits from Intermodal Transportation”

  1. I was hoping that I could find a way to be more efficient with my shipping. I was researching options and stumbled across this article which says that intermodal delivery can cut carbon emissions by more than half. I would think that the cost would be better for the same reason that buying in bulk is cheaper. The train doesn’t need to charge higher prices because it is carrying much more goods than a truck.

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