Everything You Need to Know About Intermodal Drayage

Everything You Need to Know About Intermodal Drayage

If you’re new to the world of logistics, or looking to ship your first load, the term intermodal drayage might’ve popped up as a viable option to get the job done.

But, what is intermodal drayage? This shipping model combines multiple methods of transportation to carry a shipment from point A to point B. You might raise your eyebrows at “multiple”, but it isn’t something to be intimidated by.

Intermodal drayage, when done correctly, can be a highly efficient and cost effective way to move freight. 

What exactly do you mean by “multiple” methods of transportation?

There are several ways to move freight, whether by long haul truck, van, train, ship or plane. Traditionally, one method, such as by over the road trucking, is relied upon for complete transport, from picking cargo up at the loading dock to the final delivery of a package.

This works, but it can also present stressful and costly challenges. If heavy traffic hits a crucial route or an accident occurs, who is there to offer support on the supply chain?

That’s where intermodal drayage comes in handy. By combining at least 2 modes of transportation, such as OTR trucking and rail, shippers have more route planning options and are better prepared to deal with the unexpected.

A freight train with a mountainous background

What are the benefits of intermodal drayage?

Intermodal drayage offers flexibility, and with that comes a few benefits that make a pivotal difference. This is a progressive way to ship, and logistics professionals are jumping on the bandwagon. Here’s why…

  • Money saver: When you combine trucking with rail, you end up saving on fuel because trucks drive shorter routes (to the rail ramp) and trains use far less fuel than trucks to travel long distances.

  • Eco friendly: Going green is becoming commonplace in business, and the logistics industry is no different. Since trains are fuel efficient and emit less carbon emissions than trucks (up to 75% less!), rail is a more eco friendly option.

  • Timely: Drivers need to be vigilant to safely meet deadlines, especially when confronted with bad weather, accidents, mechanical breakdowns and heavy traffic. Unexpected delays can disrupt the supply chain. By utilizing rail, you lower the risk of delays since you most likely won’t be affected by traffic and other drivers.

  • Back-up plan: If a truck breaks down, then what? Of course, there are plenty of resources in place to help, but when deadlines are tight, intermodal drainage offers support to keep the supply chain moving since there is another mode of transportation ready to be used.

  • Trucker support: Speaking on support, truck drivers can enjoy shorter routes and less pressure by sharing the shipping responsibility with rail. For example, instead of a truck driving cross-country, it will take the freight from the port to the rail, then the train will travel cross-country.

How can I use intermodal drayage correctly?

You can easily partner with a reputable 3PL company to find the best intermodal drayage services. These professionals have the experience, networking and equipment to help you streamline your supply chain. Let the experts do the work, so you can sit back and run your business without any hassle.

True Carriers Group is a non-asset based group of carriers that has been helping drive America’s supply chain for over 40 years. We offer a full range of logistics services, including Intermodal, Reefer, Van, Flatbed, Brokerage, LTL and Heavy Haul.

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