What Is Intermodal Transportation?
Most products that are available in stores go through something called intermodal drayage. This is a cargo transportation process that gets everything from point A to point B. You may be wondering, what exactly is intermodal drayage?
Intermodal refers to using more than one mode of transport. For example, travel by land is one mode, travel by sea is another mode. An intermodal transport process uses multiple modes, so it might travel by truck, train, plane, and boat, which would be four modes.
In transportation, the word drayage refers to short-distance transportation, specifically when it comes to the transportation from the port to the local endpoint. Usually, drayage consists of short-haul trucking trips, which allows the drivers to make more than one trip, and can be much more efficient.
When you put everything together, intermodal drayage is a process that depends on shipping cargo through a number of modes and involves using short-haul trucking to help get the cargo between intermodal points as well as to the final recipient. The way that the intermodal drayage process works is that it requires a logistics team that handles all the planning.
The logistics team gets the information about where the cargo starts and where it needs to end up. When they have that information, the team starts to plan the route. The goal of the route is to make sure that the cargo gets to its endpoint as quickly and efficiently as possible. That generally means using the intermodal drayage method. For a particular cargo, the process may include the cargo getting on a train, from the train being picked up by trucks and taken to the airport. When the plane lands, the cargo is picked up by another truck and taken to the port to get on a boat. When the boat reaches its final port, it will go on another truck, to another rail station, and then to another short-haul truck. It may sound like a number of steps, but everything is quicker because the drayage gets the cargo in between the different points quicker.
Intermodal drayage is arguably the best way to get cargo from its origin to its destination. The cargo will go through several types of shipping processes and the entire process may have several steps, but the process will be quicker and more efficient than just one or two transport options would be.