The driver shortages and increased capacities that have hit the over-the-road (OTR) shipping sector have prompted businesses to find other means of transporting their shipment. Intermodal shipping allows the transportation of freight in an intermodal container. Intermodal containers can be transported using different modes, including trucks, planes, trains, and barges without offloading and reloading the cargo. They offer a more efficient and reliable option as compared to OTR shipping.
Are you thinking about switching to intermodal transportation, but are not sure whether it is ideal for your business? Read on to find out some of the benefits that you can derive from using this mode of transportation for your freight.
Reduced shipping costs
Businesses incur a lot of money on fuel when shipping freight using over-the-road transportation. Intermodal transportation allows business to explore other modes of transport that can offer savings on fuel. For instance, trains use less fuel compared to trucks; therefore, you can choose to have your cargo transported by rail for the most of the journey and use a truck later. You will end up saving much more on fuel as compared if you opted for long-haul trucking. Since fuel accounts for a significant portion of your shipping costs, you will end up making huge savings.
Reduced damages to freight
Direct handling of shipment as it is transferred from the shipping container to the truck can cause damage or compromise the quality of the shipment. However, with intermodal transportation, freight containers are utilised throughout the shipping process. Direct handling of cargo is eliminated as there is no offloading or reloading, and this reduces the incidences of damages. This mode of transportation gives you a peace of mind as you are assured that the shipment will be delivered in the same good condition it was in when it was packaged.
Reliability and convenience
Technological advancements in the intermodal shipping sector have made it possible for shippers to keep track of their shipment as they would when utilising OTR transportation. One can view the shipment status, track, and trace their shipment up to the moment that it is delivered to the business premises. These technological advancements have made intermodal shipping reliable, convenient, accurate, and an ideal option for all shippers.
Intermodal transportation contributes environmental conservation. Since less fuel is used during transportation, shippers can reduce their carbon print, and this significantly reduces the emissions released into the atmosphere. It is an ideal shipping method, especially in an era where environmental sustainability is highly emphasised. Intermodal shipping can offer these and other benefits to your business, the economy, and the environment. Consult a reputed intermodal shipping company if you want to make the switch from OTR shipping.
When exporting goods to another country, you may need to use a freight forwarding service. This is a service that picks up your goods at an airport, railway station, or dock, and then forwards it to its final destination. Working with freight forwarders may be confusing to a company that is new to exporting goods, but it’s vital that you understand how this type of service operates and what is involved. Note a few commonly asked questions about freight forwarding and then discuss these with such a service or a freight broker as needed.
1. Why do shipping rates change so frequently with a freight forwarder?
You may note that a freight forwarder doesn’t necessarily offer you a consistent shipping rate for longer than a month, if that. Some will need to quote you for every single job, depending on the frequency of when you ship your goods to another country. This is often because their cost of doing business may not be so reliable for certain areas where fuel prices fluctuate often or where local customs might affect their business. For example, in some countries, factories may shut down for weeks around the Christmas holiday, so there is a rush to get goods to those factories before they close. In turn, your freight forwarder may charge you a higher amount because of additional personnel and other costs they incur during this rush season.
2. Why does a freight forwarder insist I use their paperwork for forwarding?
A freight forwarder often takes full responsibility for the freight that he or she is carrying once it arrives in a country, so they need to take responsibility for the paperwork that goes along with it. Certain countries may have additional requirements as to paperwork, or the freight forwarder may require you to use their forms, either in place of or in addition to the standard forms you may fill out for your freight. This ensures that their paperwork is in order as they transport your goods and they face no liabilities for incorrect paperwork.
Using their paperwork, forms, and the like can even make it easier on you. Many countries have their own codes that refer to shipments, such as codes for agricultural items versus machinery or computer parts. When you use the paperwork or forms provided by a freight forwarder, they may be specific to that particular country in which you’re exporting your goods. In turn, the codes, symbols, terminology, and other such particulars are spelled out for you, making it easier to prepare the paperwork properly.