Each year we ship 1.6 billion tons of freight in Texas. That is a lot of trucks on the road. But did you know that thanks to modern cargo containers, you aren’t limited to trucks? You can use trains, ships, and even cargo planes. This lets you add the benefits of them all to your logistics chain.Not convinced? Read on for 5 reasons you should branch out into intermodal shipping.
1. Reduce Costs
For any given leg of a shipment’s journey, intermodal shipping allows you to use the best options. You can take advantage of lower rates, reduced handling costs, and more predictable pricing. Compared to over the road transportation, intermodal is around 2-3 times more fuel efficient. Intermodal trains can also carry larger loads because containers can double stack. One intermodal train can transport shipments equal to 280 trucks. The increased freight and fuel efficiency help shippers save big on costs. Especially over long distances.
2. Better for the Environment
As people continue to focus on green initiatives, they want to move their goods with the smallest impact on the environment. You can reduce your shipping carbon footprint by going intermodal. Intermodal transport offers many environmental benefits compared to using trucks alone.
To carry one tonne of cargo 100 miles, a truck will emit 32 lbs of Co2, where a train will only emit 5 lbs. Trains emit around one-sixth of the emissions a truck does, per tonne-mile. This helps your company meet corporate sustainability goals.
3. Reduce Risk
Intermodal shipping is a much safer method. Railroad police track intermodal transportation. It is also possible for shippers to place GPS trackers in rail cars, to decrease the risk of losing a shipment. As long distances are usually handled by rail shippers have less exposure to roadway collisions and fatalities. This translates to higher freight reliability and means smoother, more efficient operations. Intermodal uses standardized freight containers. This means they are easily transferred from one mode to the next. This reduces the risk of damage or loss from handling the shipments.
Many companies lack the ability to scale operations throughout the year. Intermodal shippers rarely have to struggle with this.A single train is like having a whole fleet at your fingertips. Thanks to Houston’s comprehensive rail connections, it is easier than ever to send shipments cross country.
There is a growing shortage of long-haul truckers. Regulations limiting driving hours has only worsened the shortage. With intermodal though, you aren’t as reliant on truckers.
Going intermodal saves time, and this saves money. With other methods, you can face delays from traffic, disruptive weight situations, and other issues. With intermodal transport, they get the goods from A to B with fewer delays and distractions. There is no need to repack your goods from one truck to another. They only need packing and unpacking once which is a huge time saver.
The Benefits of Intermodal Shipping
As you can see, intermodal shipping has many benefits over traditional shipping. By letting you take advantage of the best each transport type has to offer, you can save time and money.Now you know why going intermodal is the right choice, you need to decide the best way to do it.
Check out our guide for buying your own containers vs using a provider for advice to help you get started the right way.