How important is intermodal freight to our economy and to our way of life?
Just look around you. Many of the everyday things in your house, office or car such as clothes, computers, cell phones or children’s toys – most likely these items have traveled around the world or the country before reaching you. Everything from what stocks the shelves of your local store to the prices you pay is affected by the journey that these goods and products take to get to you. Businesses depend on intermodal transportation to provide consumers with prompt delivery and affordable prices. Freight railroads are investing heavily to meet the intermodal demands of tomorrow.
Businesses depend on intermodal transportation to provide consumers with prompt delivery and affordable prices.
So, what is intermodal?
It’s simply the movement of freight across multiple modes of transportation—think truck, train and cargo ships. Intermodal transportation has been a singular force in creating the globalized economy that we know today.
Serving Customers and Consumers
Railroads’ intermodal investments don’t just benefit their customers—they improve the entire transportation network by helping trucks and maritime do what they do best. When the entire transportation network runs efficiently, the savings are often reflected in lower prices paid by consumers. “What intermodal really does is take advantage of the best potentials of all the modes of transportation,” said Anthony Hatch, an independent transportation analyst. “It gives shippers the flexibility of trucks, the economy of scale of freight rail and the global reach of maritime.”
Trucking companies agree. As railroads invest in infrastructure and enhanced technology, the result is that these investments help enable goods to flow more smoothly and quickly, allowing the trucking industry to move more produce with the same number of trucks on the road.
As freight railroads continue to invest heavily to prepare for evolving market needs, the whole transportation industry is better able to provide solutions to customers’ challenges —whether by ship, truck or train.