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Intermodal Freight Transportation for Effective Supply Chain Management

Intermodal freight transport involves the transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation (e.g., rail, ship, and truck), without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. The method reduces cargo handling, and so improves security, reduces damage and loss, and allows freight to be transported faster. Reduced costs over road trucking is the key benefit for inter-continental use. This may be offset by reduced timings for road transport over shorter distances.

Intermodal Freight Transportation Demand

Over the past few years, capacity has been squeezed with driver shortages, increased demand, and increased fuel prices. Intermodal transportation has provided one such solution. While traditionally carriers strictly sell the advantages of their own modes, this approach to transportation is quickly becoming outdated in our global society.

Shippers will need to take a more integrated approach to keep pace with economic expansion and consumer demands. Today, logistics executives are taking the same approach to addressing the capacity squeeze by integrating the different modes of transportation: rail, truck, air, and sea. With the economy going through one of its slowest periods of expansion in history, shippers are exploring different ways of integration before everything ramps back up.


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Ding Shao Jiang, DLSM
Ding Shao Jiang has several years of experience in logistics management, specifically in international freight and delivery operations. Shao Jiang is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) and he completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) on September 2019 at SIPMM Institute.
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