Intermodal shipping is a transportation service that uses multiple modes of shipping from origin to destination, without any handling of freight itself while changing modes of transportation. Intermodal transportation utilizes special containers or trailers which allow comodities to be moved directly from one mode of transportation to another without having to be repackaged. Companies use intermodal shipping to move freight in the most efficient, timely, cost effective and enviromentally friendly manner. Landstar uses the following transportation modes in intermodal shipping: trucks, railroad, steamship lines, ocean carriers, and airplanes. The most common intermodal combination is truck and rail.
More cargo. Trains can haul more cargo at one time than a single truck, which makes rail far more efficient than trucks to move large loads. Using freight trains to haul goods also significantly reduces the amount of greenhouse emissions. Though trains cannot be used in “door-to-door” delivery and have less scheduling flexibility than trucks, Landstar combines the best attributes of both rail and trucks to provide timely and cost effective intermodal shipping.
Flexibility. There are several other advantages to using intermodal shipping. One important benefit is the flexibility offered by this shipping method. Intermodal shipping can be used to transport a wide variety of cargo, including raw materials, manufactured goods, cars, or specialized containers for liquids or perishable items.
Security. Another advantage offered by intermodal transportation is increased security. The contents of the transport are unknown to the shippers because they are opened only at the point of origin, at customs, and at the final destination. Intermodal shipping also limits the risk of loss and spoilage for the goods it transports because the containers are resistant to extreme weather.