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Intermodal Freight VS. Over The Road Trucking

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Intermodal

Freight Right offers nationwide intermodal services for full truckloads, 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 offers advantages that bring down your cost to ship. Rail freight is generally less expensive if the origin and destination of your freight are close to rail yards (rail heads). Rail shipping is also the most economical choice when you’re shipping heavy freight. Intermodal is slightly slower so it is a good option for non-time critical 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 OTR 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.

GET A QUOTE

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 to intermodal shipping, working with an experienced company ensures its capabilities are fully leveraged. TQL 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 rail yard where it will be loaded on rail cars and shipped out. Once the train arrives at destination the trailer is takes off the car and lowered onto a chassis. Then another carrier at destination picks up the trailer and delivers it to 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 rail yards. 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 coordination which resulted in waste and inconsistent service so vital to supply chain.

Legendary railroader Hunter Harrison pioneered the system called Precision Railroading in which the trains run 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. The efficiencies gained as a result also make it one of the cheapest on the market. 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 offers advantages that bring down your cost to ship. Rail freight is generally be less expensive if your freight's origin and destination are close to rail yards (rail heads). Rail shipping is also the most economical choice when you're 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 OTR 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. 

GET A QUOTE