Utilizing Intermodal Transport to Overcome Truck Capacity Challenges

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It is evident that strain on shipping capacity and prices from the ELD mandate, the continuing operator shortfall and a strong economic climate will not be going away in the near future. To get over those challenges, a number of shippers are discovering – or rediscovering – intermodal transport service. Through transporting trailers as well as containers by way of rail as opposed to over-the-road trucking, shippers might sidestep capacity problems and discover reduced expenses.

The pattern is apparent as intermodal traffic levels have been strong within the last few a couple of months. Over the initial 9 months of 2018, intermodal rail traffic is up 6% above the identical time a year ago, as reported by the Association of American Railroads.

Switching traffic to intermodal transport solutions is a good idea for a lot of shippers. Here is a review of a few significant elements of intermodal shipping you should think about.

Versatility

 Switching traffic to intermodal is best suited for shippers who can exchange lengthier transit times for less expensive costs. It is particularly effective when transporting from a key market close to an intermodal terminal to a different key market with facilities, minimizing drayage time and fees on both ends of the shipment.

Accommodates increased traffic

 In the past, intermodal traffic was most beneficial for journeys of 700 miles or higher. That was the higher limitation of a one-day truck transit, therefore it made sense to make lengthier hauls by train. But, currently with the ELD mandate, operators might not be capable of making the equivalent journeys a single day. What was previously a one-day truck move has become a two-day move. At this point, when changing to intermodal creates merely one extra day, then the lower price could be an appealing compromise. We are discovering that intermodal is desirable for shipments within the 500-600 mile spread at this point, including amongst key areas on the East Coast.

Upgraded service

Railroads are spending billions of dollars in bettering intermodal structure as well as solutions. New and enhanced terminals, development of general network speed and eliminating problems which postpone shipping times are major focal points for railroads to make certain they maintain traffic they have recently acquired from over-the-road trucks.

Long-term transformation

 If shippers modify their supply chains to the velocity of intermodal, they might be in the position to adjust a selection of their items to ship earlier in the season to circumvent peak congestion and build lengthier transportation times into their plans. Switching a minimum of a percentage of traffic to intermodal pays off in long-term savings while OTR costs increase.

Drayage volume

Intermodal drayage isn’t resistant to capacity challenges. Drayage, the truck moves on both ends of the rail transport from the terminal to origin or destination, continue to depend upon drivers who can have their selection of cargo currently. When a shipment calls for numerous stops, or a 200-mile drive to pick-up or deliver, the operator could be significantly less pleased to commit to the move.

Shipping times

 Intermodal transport is best suited any time there is a degree of flexibleness in transit time. If shippers can predict shipping requirements a couple of days further out, they’re able to establish time for intermodal services. With a bit of supplemental preparation, shippers can lessen expenditures with intermodal.

In the long run, it is up to the shipper to select the ideal manner to serve their supply chain. Certain cargo is extremely time sensitive and needs to stick with an over-the-road solution. If you would like to check out intermodal opportunities, Logistics Titans can assist you to consider the benefits of switching traffic to intermodal and present you unique logistics solutions which satisfy your supply chain objectives.

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