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Movers of cargo containers between one transportation mode and another.

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Intermodal Transportation

Intermodal transportation involves the use of 2 or more carriers, or “modes” that link logistics programs in order to complete delivery. This can involve transport by land, sea or air in a number of carrier combinations.

Intermodal Transportation Key Terms

The world of intermodal transport is filled with specialized words. In the past, shipping cargo involved several separate industries, all dependent on the method used for shipping.

Intermodal passenger transport - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Intermodal passenger transport, also called mixed-mode commuting, involves using two or more modes of transportation in a journey. The goal of mixed-mode  ...

Intermodal transport - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Intermodal transport (or intermodal transportation) involves the use of more than one mode of transport for a journey. See: Intermodal passenger transport ...

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Intermodal Transportation and Containerization - People Page

Intermodal Transportation and Containerization Authors: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue and Dr. Brian Slack 1. The Nature of Intermodalism History as well as ...

IANA | Intermodal Fact Sheet

Every year, nearly 25 million containers and trailers are moved using intermodal transportation. Electronics, mail, food, paper products, clothes appliances, ...

Intermodal Transportation Services | Schneider

Added control, security, visibility of your freight every step of the way. Schneider Intermodal provides premium freight transportation and better access to rail ...

The Better Way - BNSF is the leader in intermodal transportation

BNSF transports goods 20% faster than the next leading intermodal provider and handles over 1 million more units each year than any other railroad.

Intermodal Transportation - Pacer

Intermodal transportation, from shipping to logistics, is smoother with Pacer.

Intermodal Transportation Institute - University of Denver

Earn a master's degree in transportation management at the University of Denver —a leader in providing research, education, and resources to the intermodal ...

Intermodal Freight Transportation

A1B05: Committee on Intermodal Freight Transport. Chairman: Gerhardt Muller, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Intermodal Freight Transportation. WILLIAM ...

Intermodal Transportation Basics


Intermodal transport works on a very simple principle: move cargo from one place to another while handling it as little as possible. This shipping method typically requires specialized equipment that can move shipping containers without disrupting their contents, which is why most shippers use intermodal transport companies for their shipping.

Intermodal transportation services operate in nearly every shipping capacity. Intermodal trucking companies carry goods that are pre-packed either on pallets or in special shipping containers to other intermodal sites. From the trucks, the goods are loaded onto a train or boat for further transport. If the item wasn’t already in an enclosed shipping container, it will typically be put in one at this step. After it has gone through this leg of its journey, it will be loaded back onto a truck and taken to its final destination. Think about these intermodal transportation basics:

1. Intermodal trucking companies are usually the first and last step in any intermodal shipping operation.

2. Trains perform most of the domestic or near domestic intermodal transport.

3. Waterborne companies make up the largest part of international intermodal shipping.

Use an intermodal trucking company for your basic shipping needs

While the majority of intermodal transportation is done through boats and trains, the early part is almost always trucks. You need a good overroad company to transport your goods from their point of origin to the next step in transports. At the other end of the transport chain, you need an overroad company to pick up your cargo and take it to its final destination.

Find a railway intermodal transportation service

One of the most efficient means of transporting cargo from one place to another is using trains. Trains have a low cost to operate, and they transfer that through low-cost shipping. Much of the domestic shipping in the U.S. and Europe is done using trains.

Locate waterborne intermodal shipping companies

When shipping internationally, waterborne transport is a safe and reliable method of moving cargo. Cargo ships rent out space to hundreds of different companies with every voyage. This means that the cost of moving the cargo is split between many different people, and the overall cost is very low.
  • The world of intermodal services is a web of companies, all working together to move cargo from one place to another. When starting out with intermodal shipping, find out if the companies you already deal with have ties to companies specializing in other forms of transportation. With a small amount of effort, you may be able to use companies and firms that you already feel comfortable with to take you cargo to many new places

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