“Intermodal freight transport involves the transportation of freight in a container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation (rail, ocean vessel, and truck), without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. The advantage of utilizing this method is that it reduces cargo handling, and so improves security, reduces damages and loss, and allows freight to be transported faster.”
When you read this definition you can already suppose that intermodal transport plays a very important role in logistics to transport goods from one place to another. The biggest advantage is that the freight is not handled when the modes of transport are changing. By doing this, you can save a lot of time and money. Later in this document you can read more about the advantages and disadvantages.
1.2. The nature of intermodal transport
Competition between the modes has tended to produce a transport system that is segmented and un-integrated. Each mode has sought to exploit its own advantages in terms of cost, service, reliability and safety. Carriers try to retain business by maximizing the line-haul under their control. All the modes saw the other modes as competitors, and were viewed with suspicion and mistrust. The lack of integration between the modes was also accentuated by public policy that has frequently barred companies from owning firms in other modes (as in the United States before deregulation), or has placed a mode under direct state monopoly control (as in Europe). Intermodal transport was also favored because of the difficulties of transferring goods from one mode to another, thereby incurring additional terminal costs and delays.
Intermodalism has its origins in maritime transportation, with the development of the container in the late 1960s, and has since spread to integrate other modes. It is not surprising that the maritime sector should have been the first mode to pursue containerization. It was the...