Chemical ISO Tank (Optimodal): Benefits and Growth Drivers of Multi-modal Transportation Services

Our services provide a wide array of intermodal benefits, including increased safety as well as reduced carbon emissions and overall cost.

Reduced Costs –

  • Long-haul domestic intermodal service can offer you significant savings compared to over-the-road trucking service. In many lanes, direct savings are in excess of 30%. Total savings can be even greater, given high fuel surcharge percentages that are applied to base line-haul freight rates.


Reduced Carbon Emissions –

  • Shipping intermodally by rail offers significant environmental benefits compared to truck. Compared to truck, a long-haul intermodal shipment reduces the carbon footprint by about half. A truck transporting 44,000 pounds of cargo from Chicago, IL, to Los Angeles, CA, produces approximately 4.4 metric tons of carbon emissions. The same 44,000 pounds shipped via intermodal rail produces only 2.1 metric tons of carbon emissions, a 52% reduction. Shipping intermodally helps a company meet their corporate sustainability goals by “greening” their supply chain.


Reduced Fuel Costs –

  • Shipping intermodally by rail is over two times more fuel efficient than by truck. Railroads can move one ton of freight over 400 miles on one gallon of fuel. If just 10% of the long-haul freight currently moving over-the-road were converted to rail, annual fuel savings in the U.S. would exceed 1 billion gallons.


Improved Safety and Security –

  • Rail service can be significantly safer than over-the-road trucking service. Railroads record one quarter the number of accidents per ton-mile than trucks. Moreover, railroads have an outstanding track record in safely delivering hazardous materials – 99.99% of all rail shipments containing hazardous materials arrive at their destination safely, without any release. Railroads and trucks carry almost equal HAZMAT ton-miles, but trucks have 16 times more HAZMAT releases than railroads. In addition to safety, rail transportation is significantly more secure for the transportation of hazardous materials.


Reduced Highway Congestion –

  • One intermodal train takes about 300 long-haul trucks off our crowded highways.


Truck Driver Shortage –

  • According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, there is a shortage of about 200,000 truck drivers this year, and this number will likely double over the next several years. Long-haul truck driver capacity is especially being affected. Driver capacity is also expected to be further impacted by CSA 2010.

intermodal benefits