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Intermodal Transport

Understanding Multimodal & Intermodal Transport

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The global demand for goods and services has increased while simultaneously becoming more complex as a result of globalization.

More cost-effective, and environmentally responsible logistics flows are driving a big boom in intermodal transport, for worldwide shipping.

Intermodal transport is the transfer of products in a container or vehicle from one vehicle to another without handling.

This technique of transportation consolidates products into sealed cargo transport units (CTUs) for minimal handling (containers, mobile boxes, or semi-trailers).

This decreases the chance of things being lost, broken, or stolen.

These units also make it easier to shift commodities to various modes of transportation (road, rail, sea, etc.) to reach their final destination.

Intermodal is a deeper integration and complimentary link between different modes of transportation. This improves logistics for moving products.

Its purpose?

To expedite and improve material and commodity transshipment. Intermodal transit is beneficial.

Savings Intermodal shipping can combine full-load and groupage shipping for exporters who don’t need a complete container. Use intermodal shipping.

Agile logistics. Loading units reduce handling, labour, transition time, and loading and unloading time.

Load monitoring and risk minimization. Even while switching vehicles, finding objects is easy because they are not split.

The cargo modules are hermetically sealed, thus the cabin is not opened until the shipment arrives. This prevents theft, damage, and breaking.

Simpler formalities. Sealing CTUs speeds up customs inspections and controls. This reduces travel and waiting time, speeding delivery. Simplifying inspections. Controlled and sealed freight usually undergoes fewer inspections.


This reduces transport emissions and makes the model more sustainable. This is due to savings on packaging, energy usage per freight unit, and CO2 emissions from vehicles.

Intermodal transport maximizes the efficiency of all modes of transportation by integrating them.

  • Road transport’s door-to-door capability.
  • Punctuality, long-distance speed, and rail transit viability are vital.


Moving large amounts of cargo at low marine transport prices.

What distinguishes intermodal and multimodal transport?

Intermodal transportation involves moving goods utilizing many modes of transportation, each with a different transport firm and contract.

Multi-carrier journey. Each component will be shipped by a different company. The shipper will negotiate with each transport operator for each shipment leg.

Multimodal transportation involves moving merchandise utilizing many modes of transportation under one contract or bill of lading.

The same transporter handles all packages. Multimodal transportation uses many means of transportation under one bill of lading.

Comparison of multimodal transportation to intermodal transportation

Both “intermodal transport” and “multimodal transport” are frequently confused with one another and used interchangeably as a result.

However, the two are not quite interchangeable.

The primary distinction between these two modes of transportation is that multimodal transport conveys many kinds of cargo, such as pallets and containers, while only providing a single document (the FIATA Bill of Landing, FBL), which covers the entire operation.

However, intermodal transport makes use of CTUs, which are mostly containers but can also be temperature controlled containers, semi-trailers or mobile boxes.

These CTUs are able to transition from one method of transport to another without having to be opened up.

Additionally, a transport record is generated for every mode of transportation (truck, boat, etc.) that is a part of the logistics services process.

Nevertheless, the paperwork for each of them is consistent with one another.

It is not always the case that one is superior to the other; rather, everything relies on the requirements of each firm and the characteristics of the products that they sell.

A logistics operator can assist in determining which alternative is most suitable in each specific circumstance.

In spite of this, intermodal transport is becoming increasingly prevalent in the realm of international transportation as a result of its numerous advantages, most notably its ability to preserve the integrity of the cargo.

The maturation of multimodal and intermodal transport

As was indicated before, intermodal transport is in excellent health; thus, the question that arises is why at this time?

There are a number of elements that have come together in such a way that they are causing international transit to more and more closely resemble multimodal transport.

More relevant infrastructures:

  • The modernization of transportation infrastructure is resulting in greater connections between ports and railway routes, which results in a combination of transportation that is more flexible.
  • In addition, there has been some development in the area of harmonizing and standardizing the administrative and legal processes that are involved in the transportation of products.

Planning for vehicular traffic:

This kind of transportation is experiencing difficulties as a result of rising demand that is not being met by the available professionals due to a lack of drivers and capacity concerns.

The ever-increasing cost of fuel is putting a damper on the attractiveness of this mode of transportation, at least for very lengthy trips.

Efficiency gains as a result of procedures in logistics that are more up to date and are based on information and technology are able to facilitate cheaper rates, improved time estimates, and reduced handling costs.

Because of this, the linked means of transportation produce a bigger overall value addition. Innovative methods for conducting business: 

The pursuit of better competitiveness, in addition to the development of values such as increased sustainability or a decrease in the number of accidents that occur.

When to go for a service that provides multimodal transportation

Since advancements are being made with port links and other international transport nodes, intermodal transport is becoming an increasingly significant mode of transportation.

Intermodal transportation is the optimal approach to shipping commodities across international borders.

For this reason, it will be to the advantage of a great deal of businesses to use an intermodal transport service whenever.

In order to understand freight forwarder‘s methods which entails, drayage and possible warehousingtrucking services match to trailer type to convey a load from door to door, they require a complicated operation.

They want to move the goods over great distances, but they also want to minimize the danger of any problems occurring along the way, such as loss, leaking, getting held up at customs, and so on.

Looking for ways to reduce the costs associated with international transportation? Container shipping China to Canada or Shipping Canada to USA they want items delivered within a specified timeframe utilizing international transit while simultaneously reducing any logistical issues that may arise.

The values of the organization place a significant emphasis on environmental responsibility. In any scenario, utilizing the services of an intermodal transport company is the superior option.

However, the best part is that the dedicated transport services managed by a logistics company is that they will take care of the entire operation, acquiring the most efficient combination of transport modes in accordance with your budget and the deadlines.

At Paige Logistics, we are seasoned professionals. We manage all types of intermodal transport services. You do not have to worry about a thing and your cargo connects safely at your destination right at the time you wish it to arrive.

Alexander Crane
Alexander Crane

Author & Chief Executive Officer at Paige Logistics Ltd. → Experienced Operations Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Transportation, Shipping, Trucking and the Railroad Industry.

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