Inbound Logistics Article: Intermodal Meets the Moment
Published on May 11, 2021 | Written by Thomas Gresham
In a supercharged supply chain, intermodal’s value grows more evident than ever. These standout companies are contributing to its bright future.
Through changing conditions, behaviors, and preferences in the freight market, the strengths of intermodal as a shipping option have endured over the years, according to Philip Evers, associate professor of supply chain management at the University of Maryland. “The advantages of intermodal are the same ones they’ve always been,” he says. “It’s a relatively low-cost and effective method of shipping and it’s an eco-friendly approach.”
Intermodal—utilizing two or more different modes, usually rail, to convey goods—”is highly secure and takes trucks off the road,” adds James Shefelbine, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Chicago-based PLG Consulting.
“Intermodal optimizes the truck-rail trade-off where shippers get the best of both worlds,” Shefelbine says. “They get the short-distance efficiency of trucks and the long-haul stability and reliability of rail. It can be safer than a traditional truck move, and it provides higher visibility for shippers tracking their shipments. The value proposition is strong.”
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