The transport of goods using road, rail, sea and/or air, multimodal shipping is growing in popularity as shippers look for ways to improve the efficiency of—and drive the costs out of—their supply chains.
Because the best possible mode of transportation is selected for each leg of the freight’s journey, a multimodal approach provides high levels of flexibility and can be more environmentally sustainable. Here are five more reasons why companies should add multimodal to their transportation portfolios:
- Take your pick of freight modes. Some of the most common multimodal freight options include road, rail, sea and air. While over the road may be the go-to mode for many shippers, there are potential economic and sustainability benefits of using road in conjunction with rail or air, for example.
- Save money on freight and inventory costs. According to Inbound Logistics, multimodal transportation has several cost advantages, including reduced freight costs for the shipper; reduced inventory costs; and the elimination of unnecessary paperwork. “Additionally, multimodal transportation reduces shipping costs by using one carrier for multiple legs of your journey,” the publication adds. “By combining sea freight and rail transport, you can save money on fuel and total shipping costs.”
- Faster delivery times. When you combine different modes of transport, you can shorten the shipping cycle, delivering shipments faster than if they were shipped by only one transportation mode. “For example, if you ship a product from China to the United States by sea freight and then by rail, the journey might take weeks longer than if you ship by air,” Inbound Logistics points out. “This shipping method will allow you to send more goods in less time.”
- Tackle those complex, international shipments. Intermodal works very well for shippers with complex, global shipping needs. If you have to move a large amount of cargo from one country to another, those goods can be moved by truck to a railroad yard and then transported by rail to an ocean port. Then, a ship will transport them overseas where the land-based process will be repeated as the goods move to their final destination. When you work with a logistics provider with multimodal expertise, that partner will manage the complexity and serve as your single point of contact throughout the process.
- A partner like Odyssey Logistics services all modes for you. Multimodal logistics and transportation providers like Odyssey use a selection of different carriers and modes to move freight. They handle the end-to-end process—from pickup at origin to delivery to final destination—regardless of how many different modes are involved. And if any challenges emerge during the process, you always have a single point of contact to work with.
At Odyssey Logistics, our four core divisions come together to form the ideal multimodal partner for shippers across all industries. By combining intermodal; transportation and warehousing; managed services; and integrated marine logistics under one roof, Odyssey helps shippers leverage one-stop-shop logistics and transportation services and avoid potential disruptions to their supply chain.