Shipping plays a critical role in the success of most companies. If your business creates a physical product that must be delivered to retail outlets or consumers in order to see profits, then having the right form of shipping is critical. Intermodal transportation, which is the use of multiple types of transport to deliver a load of goods (truck, train, boat, etc.) is becoming more popular among today's companies.
Here are three questions that you can ask yourself to help determine if intermodal transportation is the right option for your company.
1. How far are products being shipped?
When trying to determine if you should make the switch to intermodal transportation to meet your shipping needs, it can be beneficial to assess the distance that your products are being shipped.
If you are routinely shipping products across the country, then you may find that using various methods of transportation could significantly reduce your shipping costs. This is because a greater volume of product can be shipped by a single train, for example, than a single truck, reducing trip expenses and allowing you to make your products more profitable.
2. How important is environmental preservation?
Many companies are taking a more proactive stance when it comes to environmental preservation. If you are hoping to reduce the negative impact your company's business activities have on the environment, then making the transition to intermodal transportation for your shipping needs could be beneficial.
A semi truck produces up to 20 pounds of carbon dioxide per 100 ton-miles, whereas a freight train produces just a mere 5 pounds of carbon dioxide per 100 ton-miles. Combining shipping methods through intermodal transportation allows you to reduce your company's carbon footprint in order to become more environmentally friendly in the future.
3. Is product sensitivity an issue?
When you are trying to determine if making the switch to intermodal transportation is the best option for your company, you need to take the sensitivity of your products into consideration. If your products need to remain at a certain temperature throughout the shipping process in order to retain viability, then you will need a refrigerated shipping container.
Semi trucks offer the ability to ship goods under refrigerated conditions, but this amenity may cost extra when shipping via freight train. Be sure that you compare the cost savings you will gain when using refrigerated shipping containers to determine if intermodal transportation is right for your company.
Taking advantage of intermodal transportation like First Star Logistics will give you the flexibility you need to reduce shipping costs, reduce your carbon footprint, and improve shipping reliability in the future.