Intermodal Marketing Perfected

Partnering with railroads and ocean carriers from point to point

Getting started
Shipping goods internationally from point to point is complicated enough for seasoned logistics professionals; for new players, entering the ocean carrier business quickly is even more so. That’s one of the major reasons newcomers who want to launch quickly turn to Odyssey Logistics & Technology. They need to be well established on day one, which means partnering with a railway services firm that is. It’s also why major railroads point many start-up carriers who approach them for contracts to Odyssey: deep bench experience, trusted relationships built across a quarter century, low risk, and leverage.

Sounds simple, but it really isn’t
In addition to all the requisite paperwork, it takes broad knowledge of changing industry regulations and solid relationships with people who know how to get things done to move cargo from point A to point B. This could mean pier to door, pier to rail ramp, door to pier, or ocean carrier ramp to pier. It also means having the resources to move domestic containers of all sizes and types from surplus areas to deficit areas. Odyssey excels at all these things, and does so at lower costs.

Railroads trust Odyssey to mitigate risk
It’s understandable that in many instances new or smaller ocean carriers will go directly to the railroads to negotiate contracts, only to find they are referred to Odyssey. Why? The answer is pretty straightforward: The railroad doesn’t want to take the financial risk that would be incurred by signing on with an unknown entity. They rely on intermodal marketing corporations (IMCs) like Odyseey to handle the due diligence, finding out if there is enough cargo to warrant a deal, or whether or not the start-up has enough staff and other resources in place to be able to provide and support the service.

Odyssey is trusted by railroads and carriers to thoroughly assess the viability of these new entrants. If necessary, Odyssey can also leverage its own relationships to address every party’s needs. In fact, because the company’s reputation is stellar and its access to rail corridors across so many routes is solid, some fledgling carriers choose to go directly to Odyssey rather than to the railroads.

China: A partner, and a case in point
The manufacturing miracle China began in the 1980s continues to expand, as does the global demand for the goods it produces. To meet its international shipping needs, China is expanding its own rather large merchant fleet. In addition to a group of main carriers, the country now sees a host of new entrants into the business coming from a variety of its ministries. Each serves inland locations with more cargo to ship to the U.S.

Expansion has created certain challenges. For example, some entrants are finding it difficult to scale up; they lack the volume to satisfy the quota domestic railroads require before entering into contract. One in particular, the Chinese Ministry of Communications, turned to a partner it trusted to help it overcome its issues and to provide it with point-to-point service. As part of the solution it provided to the Ministry, Odyssey bundled shipments, moving them from ship to rail and absorbing the risk surrounding guaranteed volume. That valued experience has also been tapped by China’s Ministry of Transportation.

From soup to nuts
Whether the cargo is rice, glass, chemicals, auto parts, or orange juice, consumers and manufacturers worldwide rely on the expertise of logistics and transportation providers to move finished goods and components safely and on time to markets everywhere.

As a veteran provider of intermodal services, Odyssey understands the critical role it plays in keeping the global supply chain running smoothly. As the largest shipper of steel coil in the U.S., it realizes how many industries rely on that product—transportation, architecture, consumer goods, automotive, refrigeration—and how many consumers demand the boats, cars, air conditioners, furniture, and other end-use products that metal goes into making.`