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Intermodal Freight VS. Over The Road Trucking

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Intermodal

Freight Right offers nationwide intermodal services for full truckload (FTL), less than truckload (LTL), and project cargo.

Capacity

Intermodal freight is moved in 53’ trucks as well as in 20’, 40’ and 45’ ocean containers.

Predictability

Intermodal freight is much less volatile than over the road trucking.

Visibility

Precise tracking from rail carriers every step of the way.

Drop and Pick

Like ocean shipments, containers can be dropped for loading over hours or days.

Single Point of Contact

Our dispatchers will handle all involved carriers.

It's Green

Minimize your carbon footprint with one of the most fuel efficient modes of transport.

Intermodal Freight VS. Over The Road (OTR) Trucking.

Intermodal freight and over-the-road trucking (OTR) each offer advantages that bring down the cost to ship. Rail freight is generally less expensive if the origin and destination of your freight are close to railyards (railheads). Rail shipping is also the most economical choice when you’re shipping heavy freight. Intermodal is slightly slower, thus it is a good option for non-rushed freight. 

Intermodal Freight is Green

Moving freight by rail is around 4 times more fuel-efficient than moving freight over-the-road. Trains can move a ton of freight over 470 miles on a single gallon of fuel. Efficient use of fuel means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the portion of the intermodal freight and decreasing over-the-road will decrease our carbon footprint.

We negotiate freight rates regularly with rail carriers and intermodal marketing companies. Our team of experts will be glad to help you determine the best options based on your needs.

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More Options With Our Drayage Network

Considered a short-haul, 200 miles or less, drayage moves the container to and from the rail terminal or shipping port. As a key component of intermodal shipping, working with an experienced company ensures its capabilities are fully leveraged. Freight Right offers you access to a nationwide drayage network with:

  • Coverage at all ports and ramps
  • Bonded, quality carriers anywhere you need them
  • Dry and temperature-controlled capabilities
  • Warehousing and trans-loading contacts near every major port
  • Extensive nationwide network of UIIA and TWIC certified carriers

Here Is How It Works:

A truck will pick up an empty trailer or a container and will deliver it to the shipper for loading. Once loaded, it will be delivered to the railyard where it will be loaded onto railcars and are ultimately shipped out. Once the train arrives at the destination, the trailer is taken off the car and lowered onto a chassis. Then another carrier at the destination picks up the trailer and delivers it to the receiver for unloading. This maneuvering is primarily why rail is slightly slower than over-the-road trucking.

How Long Does It Take?

Rail transit times may vary slightly, due to congestion at ports and railyards. However, they tend to move more reliably than trucks when it rains or snows. Here is a rough idea of transit times:

A Little More About Rail:

Historically, railroads were slow and unreliable means of freight transport. Each railyard set its own schedules for its people, locomotives and cars. There was no actual coordination, which resulted in waste and inconsistent service.

Legendary railroader Hunter Harrison pioneered the system called Precision Railroading, in which the trains ran 24/7 on set schedules. The benefit of all-night runs when the routes are free of commuter trains has made the North American railroad system one of the most reliable on-time transport modes. Current freight rates per mile for intermodal transport comfortably beat motor freight rates for distances over 500 miles.

Intermodal freight and over-the-road trucking (OTR) each offer advantages that bring down your cost to ship. Rail freight is generally less expensive if the freight's origin and destination are close to railyards (railheads). Rail shipping is also the most economical choice when shipping heavy freight. 

Intermodal Freight is Green

Moving freight by rail is around 4 times more fuel-efficient than moving freight over-the-road. Trains can move a ton of freight over 470 miles on a single gallon of fuel. Efficient use of fuel means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the portion of the intermodal freight and decreasing over-the-road will decrease carbon footprint.

We negotiate freight rates regularly with rail carriers and intermodal marketing companies. Our team of experts will be glad to help you determine the best options based on your needs.

GET A QUOTE