4 Advantages of Intermodal Transportation

Business News

With the market being ever-increasingly competitive, an efficient supply chain is important to provide your clients with even more value in return for their business. One great way to do this is through intermodal shipping, which combines different modes of transportation into one logistics solution that helps transport your cargo from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible and with minimal environmental impact. 

Intermodal shipping refers to transporting cargo by land, sea, and air. You can work with one provider, for example, specialist logistics Swire shipping, rather than having to handle several different freight forwarding companies when transporting your products. They handle everything, ensuring that your products arrive as scheduled in all their pristine condition. As well as helping you avoid delivery delays and extra fees, intermodal shipping has different advantages that make it worth considering for your next shipment. Here is a look at four of them below.

1. Reduced Freight Costs  

Intermodal transportation aims to get goods from their origin to their destination as cost-effectively as possible. Trucks are ideal for moving goods from farm to factory or from warehouse to the customer’s door. But once a container has been delivered to its port of departure by truck or train, it makes sense to transfer it onto a ship instead of sending it further by rail or road freight. 

For example, ships can cross international borders without having to change paperwork. That saves money and time in countries where customs clearances take more time than in others; for example, between China and Singapore vs. between Malaysia and Singapore. In addition, using specialist logistics Swire shipping ensures seamless freight and paperwork movement. 

2. Access to High Freight Capacity Handling 

It makes sense to use intermodal transport if you have bulky or voluminous freight. For example, a truck might be able to carry a pallet of goods but not an entire shipping container. Using rail and/or ship transportation, you can move your cargo in bulk without worrying about overloading trucks and causing damage. 

Intermodal transport works well for industries with voluminous or bulky cargo, including timber, construction materials, automobiles, etc. For some industries, it is a legal requirement to use intermodal transportation for high-volume cargo. You should consider intermodal shipping if you have very heavy or bulk loads. 

This is even more applicable if you do not have wide operating aisles in your warehouse, as it is difficult to get trucks in and out with pallets and crates. Using containers, you can take advantage of multi-level stacking opportunities with cargo ships.

3. High Fuel Efficiency in Transport  

Intermodal transport achieves high levels of efficiency, especially on the railway segment. The most common example is that a train can carry 100 tons at 30 miles per hour using 1 gallon of fuel. A typical 500-ton tractor-trailer rig can carry 20 tons at 70 miles per hour using 1000 gallons. Thus, rail transport has 35 times greater fuel efficiency than highway transport. The average freight train achieves 2,200 miles per gallon, 10-20 times better than trucks on rails and six times better than trucks on highways. If your business is trying to achieve higher green goals, it is possible to achieve with this type of transport. 

There are also far fewer losses to road wear as there is less tire friction and other forms of mechanical resistance. This is an added public benefit because business operations become less damaging to the public. In addition,  intermodal transport achieves higher fuel efficiency, thus lower carbon emissions. Marine operators have also become more involved in reducing their carbon footprint by researching more fuel-efficient operations. 

4. Higher Safety of Freight 

When transporting goods across borders, you must consider risks, including pilferage, breakage, water damage, and spoilage of perishable goods. Intermodal transport mitigates these risks in different ways; the Freight is on the constant move, which leaves few opportunities for tampering and pilferage.

Another advantage is that intermodal shipments are less likely to be stolen or lost than other modes of transportation (such as air freight). This is because fewer people handle intermodal shipments at each point in their journey, meaning there’s less opportunity for theft or loss. 

In addition, most intermodal shipping companies have developed sophisticated tracking systems that allow customers to follow their shipments in real-time. As a result, customers can track their shipment from origin to destination with ease.

Intermodal transport facilities are also under high 24/7 security like surveillance cameras, controlled access, and armed guards. Port facilities, airport terminals, and railway docks are some of the most secure places


In conclusion, intermodal transportation is your solution if you’re looking for a reliable and efficient way to transport goods and services. Using this service can benefit a company that wants to cut costs on fuel or save time through reduced transit times. For any business that wants to remain competitive, intermodal transport is the way to keep supply chains functional. A competent partner like specialist logistics Swire shipping assures this success now and in the future.

More Read On: Spero Magazine

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