Role of Intermodal Services in Supply Chain Process

Intermodal Services in Supply Chain Process

You want to send parcels beyond international boundaries, and your customers want them in a few dollars. What do you do? Use only airlines to deliver? Nah, they’re not setting the right cost. Use only waterway freight carriers? No. Your goods are not reaching on time. And trucks! They can’t fly or sail!

Did you see it? Each transportation mode has its shortcoming. One trades-off time for costing, and the other bargains costing for time. That’s when you’d want to switch to the intelligent modes of delivery— the intermodal services.

Get aside, lads! The transport optimization is here with intermodal transports.

Intermodal transport combines two or more individual modes of transport to keep your supply cost and delivery time in check. 

Think of it as a probability. You have several modes at your disposal, and you arrange them in a manner that your delivery reaches in time and at your customers’ happy shipping charges. This is called optimizing your supply chain.

It’s more like clubbing or making different sets of transports work in a team to meet your supply chain end-objectives.

Everything seems happy and easy for your customers. But a lot is happening behind the intermodal gates.

Intermodal services need strategic planning as it takes streamlining and syncing all the transports in time. A lot is happening in the back-end, while each of us enjoys our Zara outfits delivered to us at paltry cost.

Intermodal trucking companies own up all the hustle and bustle of intermodal transport. Here’s how they optimize shipping:

  • They use trucks to place empty containers in shippers. Shippers are huge trucks that can contain goods upto thousands of tonnes.


  • Then the empty containers in shippers are loaded with goods.


  • Shippers then transport the goods to the shipping ports.


  • All the containers are loaded in the inland waterway barge or steamships.


  • These waterway carriers forward these containers to the destination ports.


  • These containers are unloaded and shipped to the receiver’s warehouses.


Since everything is interconnected, each link in the chain has to be upto the delivery standards. Please note that it’s not the only route that your goods will take. They can be handled through rails, and airway freights too. The routing plan is set depending on what’s the best alternate possibility. 

Not just delivery. Intermodal trucking companies have to take care of secure trails.

Transportation agents have to own up the responsibilities of delivering goods safely and securely from the consignor to the consignee. 

It’s natural to feel that your goods are not in a safe pair of hands when handled multiple times during the supply process. But intermodal services eliminate the risks of directly handling the goods.

To take care of the security trails, intermodal trucking companies use special standardized containers. Think of these containers as large, durable rectangular boxes. They’re specially built of steels that are made to last when your goods are handled at different transportation points.

When do you know it’s best to have intermodal transport for carrying your goods?

Rarely the weather condition will keep shipments from reaching your customers. Come heavy rain or water— you can kind of place your trust on intermodal services for delivering your parcels at a scheduled time.

Despite all the odds in your favor— you should do all the research to know when you need its services the most. Here’re some of the things to consider when you’re opting an intermodal transport:

Tip #1 Determine the nature and quantity of your goods.

Ask yourself if your good is finished or at an intermediate stage. Intermodal services have been good for delivering intermediate or finished goods. You may not want your raws to be supplied with it.

If these goods have a load unit of 25 tonnes or less, they’re fit for intermodal deliveries.

Tip #2 Check where you want your goods to be delivered!

The origins, destinations, and the distance between the two matters. Longer the distance, more likely, you’d want to prefer intermodal services. 

For distances, more than 500 kilometers or destinations that can take more than one day of trucking should use intermodal transport chains. These sequences of modes usually contain railroads, trucks, and maritime. 

Tip #3 Make sure that your load unit is convertible.

You may want to pick air transports to have your goods delivered quickly. But check if load units used by airways are convertible with other modes of transports.

Usually, air transports don’t fit the puzzle of intermodal services as they don’t tolerate load units of other modes. At max, they use trucking for the starting and the ending miles and don’t combine with rail or ship steams.

Tip #4 Decide as per the value of your cargo.

What are you delivering? Is it precious? Or just holds an intermediate or low value? Considering these questions should help you pick your intermodal trucking company.

Generally, the high-valuable products are best handled when they’re sent through direct means of transport such as airways, while low-valued items can rely on a sequence of intermodal transport chains. Now you know when it’s suitable for your business.

Tip #5 Consider the frequency of your delivery.

We don’t think about the cost when we have to travel from point A to point B just once. But we get our passes ready or use public transports if we have to commute daily. 

Same with your cargos. Suppose you need to deliver your products at the same destination repeatedly or wish to have a continuous cargo flow. In that case, intermodal transport could be the best choice to give you a competitive edge over your rivalries.

The key advantages of intermodal services— here’s why you need them right now.

Reason #1 Intermodal containers can be manipulated for any corner of the world.

The standard dimensions convey a ubiquity in the distributed system.

Reason #2 Intermodal services have the flexibility of usage.

They can carry a myriad of goods-type. Solid or liquid, raw or finished, perishable, or long-lasting goods— trucking agents use specialized containers to give 360-degree delivery solutions.

Reason #3 Intermodal transportation chains can save 20 times your money.

System-wide flexibility and speed reduce the prices for you and your customers.

Reason #4 Steel containers are themselves a secure warehouse.

They limit damage risks despite traveling thousands of kilometers from the origin.

Shamrock Intermodal Services at easy reach— book your slots— now!

Knowing about intermodal services is not enough when you aren’t using your knowledge in the best of your interest. You also need to set your plan in motion with the veteran in the intermodal industry.

Shamrock Intermodal Services has taken care of the intermodal delivery department for years. Should you look for drawing smiles on your customers’ faces— play your supply chain card wisely. The deck is always on your table.

Shamrock International

Shamrock International

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