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Intermodal vs multimodal transportation


Modern transportation of goods can occur both in one type of transport and using several types, that is, they can be unimodal, intermodal and multimodal. Everything depends on the type of goods, the time of delivery or price for transportation and of course customs clearance services.

Intermodal transportation is transportation of goods in which the goods are delivered in several types of transport. They occur on one transport document and imply further overload without the presence of the owner of the goods. The main difference from multimodal transportation is the lack of a single transport cost. Intermodal transport is used when transporting goods to hard-to-reach areas from another state. They significantly save time and money costs, since the entire procedure is under the control of one operator. The advantages of this transportation can be attributed to the fact that it does not require the transfer of cargo. It is packed in a container at the beginning of the journey and is not removed from it to the end. This feature allows you to turn the transportation into a safer and faster. Intermodal transport is complicated by the fact that they require developed partnerships, which are necessary for organizing transportation by several types of transport. The process can also fail with an incorrectly chosen route or lack of quality control.

The role of containers in intermodal transport of cargo is significant. Normally, intermodal transport takes place using containers. Today, there are many of their types, so the delivery of goods without reloading works is not very difficult. Standard containers (20 and 40 feet) are designed to carry any goods, except medical products and food. They are divided into small-, medium- and large-tonnage. The design of the containers can be low and high. The oversized container is transported in convertible containers. For the transport of goods with a limited shelf life, refrigerated containers with a special cooling system are designed. There is another type of container – tankers, in which liquid types of cargo are transported. Their steel structure reliably protects the goods from external influences. Outside, the tankers are locked and sealed. Containers are transported by low-bed or vans. Sea transportation between different states is carried out on special ships. The ship’s board is filled with containers, which are installed up to 7 pieces in height. Container transportation by rail takes place on special platforms with high payload capacity. This is done with the help of port and vessel agent who can help them. Carrier companies engaged in intermodal transport should have information tracking systems that are responsible for the condition of the goods. Only in this case, transport companies can guarantee fast and safe delivery of cargo to the destination.


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