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Is Intermodal Trucking Cost Effective?

Traditional trucking and domestic intermodal trucking are both popular options when it comes to transporting your business’s range of goods to locations around the United States. However, when it comes to choosing between these two common forms of goods shipping and transportation, the ultimate decision can become complex. You should consider several specific factors to support, protect, and promote your unique business’s assets and goals. The available pricing and potential cost of activities are not the least of these particular factors when deciding on a freight shipping method. So, let’s break down some of the top potential pricing and cost factors and the differences between the distinct types of trucking available. In this article, we’ll discuss the defining characteristics of intermodal shippers, intermodal carriers, and traditional trucking. We’ll also elaborate on the answer to “Is intermodal trucking cost effective?” 

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The Role of Intermodal Shippers

When discussing some of the top potential pricing and cost factors associated with freight trucking, it’s helpful to first begin by discussing intermodal shippers’ essential role. As intermodal shipping involves the use of two or more methods of transport to ship cargo loads, intermodal shippers essentially perform some of the particular physical cargo movement and transport activities. These essential shipment employees may participate in loading the various freight products into a shipping container on a truck chassis. They may also join in hauling a given shipping container to an intermodal ramp. These intermodal ramps are typically only a short distance away, and the transport itself, when involving a truck, is called “drayage.” At the given intermodal ramp, an intermodal shipper may lift the container off its chassis and place it on a well or flat car so it can ship by train for a more extended portion of its overall journey.

Intermodal shipping employees can range in their duties and daily activities mainly because they may or may not take part in intermodal driving activities and may work at different locations during shift hours as opposed to spending their hours behind the wheel on roadways. However, intermodal shippers and drivers enjoy various benefits unique to their positions. In addition to these roles as intermodal shippers, these valuable individuals may also have the name as employees or owners of a particular business involved in shipping goods.

The Role of Intermodal Carriers

Intermodal carriers are highly similar to intermodal shippers in many ways, frequently used as another umbrella term to refer to various activities and freight and logistics roles to pick up, transport, and deliver multiple goods worldwide. In intermodal transportation and logistics, with the combination of two or more modes of transport, each intermodal carrier has an essential responsibility for a specific model. As such, there are numerous freight bills from different carriers. Intermodal shippers or carriers who can move given freight loads more than 750 miles can effectively add value to the complete supply chain. The top reasons for engaging these individuals in intermodal transport include lower overhead costs, more consistent capacities, and overall higher quality service. 

What Defines Traditional Trucking?

Arguably, the top conventional shipment advantage of trucking is its overall impactful potential for flexibility. As one of the most popular and common methods of transporting freight to its various destinations along its journey to ultimate consumers, traditional trucking essentially involves shipping various goods by way of roads. Traditional shipment trucking offers impactful flexibility regarding delivery route times and other options. However, traditional shipment trucking also has the potential to come at a more expensive price point than intermodal shipping options. This traditional form of drayage trucking has the potential to be more costly than intermodal shipping, especially when it comes to heavier loads and longer distances. 

How Cost Effective Is Intermodal Trucking?

Given loads of goods transport in shipping containers using sea, air, rail, and road methods of transportation. Ships, airplanes, trains, and drayage trucks are the top four integral methods of intermodal transportation to transfer your particular valuable freight items from initial load locations to their ultimate destinations with other businesses or consumers directly. Intermodal trucking is primarily considered to be a more cost effective option than traditional drayage trucking when it comes to efficiently and effectively transporting goods across distances. However, intermodal trucking is generally more used explicitly for freight routes centered around roughly 250 intermodal class 1 intermodal rail ramps. Dray is essentially the most efficient as a reliable and effective freight transport method when its origin and ultimate destination exist within 300 miles of the intermodal ramps. In contrast to traditional drayage trucking, domestic intermodal trucking involves a combination of two or more methods of freight transportation to achieve your shipment and ultimate business goals. 

One of the critical factors that continues to influence intermodal trucking’s cost efficiency positively is the lower cost of intermodal fuel transportation can yield regularly. There isn’t a specific railroad fuel that differs from the fuel used by intermodal trucks. Freight trains for intermodal shipping simply use less fuel on average. In fact, freight trains can be four times more fuel efficient than trucks. These trains are also able to move a ton of shipping freight around 492 miles on just one gallon of fuel. Intermodal trucking specifically requires fewer driver miles. As intermodal trucking uses significantly fewer driver miles, you can experience impactfully reduced labor costs, furthermore increasing shipping cost effectiveness. Thus, while intermodal transportation itself is highly cost productive owing to the distinct fuel and other benefits of ranging transport methods, intermodal trucking is also specifically cost effective.

Experience Cost Effective Intermodal Trucking With Heavy Weight

When considering your options for freight shipping, among the top deciding factors are pricing and ultimate transport costs. For some of the most cost effective intermodal trucking as a business owner or drayage driver, connect with Heavy Weight Transport. With a private fleet of multi-axle chassis, convenient and reliable port warehousing, and overweight cargo shipping capabilities, we continue to be a leader who can impactfully support and promote your assets and goals.