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Intermodal Transportation – A Complete Rundown

by dannyadmin on September 5, 2014

Many people may not think of the effort required to move goods from one place to another. When the term transportation is used, people think about how humans move–in cars, trucks, buses, by airplane or rail. However, when one considers the sheer number of items moved around the world each day it is a wonder how anything gets to where it is going on time. There has to be an interconnectedness to keep freight moving so that goods reach their destinations, and business is not brought to a standstill.  This accomplished is through intermodal freight transportation or intermodal transportation.

Intermodal transportation is a cost-effective and efficient method of moving materials so that they arrive to the desired destination quickly and in good condition.  Clothing, furniture, fuels, grains, automobiles and all types of products can be moved through intermodal transportation. The beauty of this type of transportation is that it can be coordinated among all providers so that it is seamless; and by using technology, a shipment can be tracked from the minute it leaves the manufacturer to the time it arrives at the destination.

An everyday example of intermodal transportation is when a consumer orders a product online. If the consumer chooses next-day delivery and the manufacturer is a thousand miles away, obviously the item will have to be shipped by airplane. However, there is no way that an airplane will land in front of a consumer’s home. However, once the item arrives at the airport, which could be 100 miles away, the package is put on a truck that delivers the package to the consumer’s front door.

When it comes to shipping larger items or products in large quantity, a shipment is usually transported by several means. Grains harvested the Midwestern United States might be taken from the farm by truck to a processing plant. From the processing plant, the grain might be put in a rail container that
will take it across the country to a sea port. When it arrives at the sea port, the container is hoisted on to ship that takes it overseas to another country. In other situations the container might be hauled by a truck to the port and loaded on to the ship that will transport it.

Consider a shipment of electronics that was manufactured overseas. It is transported by ship to the U.S. From the port the shipment might be picked up by big trucks and taken to a distribution center of the company that will sell the appliances to the consumer. When the consumer makes the purchase online or in the local store, the appliance is loaded on to the truck and delivered to the consumer’s home.

Millions of goods are shipped via intermodal freight transportation and the numbers are growing every year. As more companies become global—producing goods overseas and bringing them back to their native counties, this trend will continue to grow and allow consumers and businesses to have access to products that arrived unadulterated, intact and affordable.

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