According to Portland State University, “Intermodal freight transport is a system for transporting goods, particularly over longer distances and across international borders, which uses a combination of two or more individual modes, such as road haulage and rail freight, or road haulage and inland waterway barge, to achieve the most economical, efficient and environmentally-friendly delivery offloads to their destination.” In simple terms, intermodal freight is the transportation of freight using multiple modes.


Freight Loads Lifestyle presents an example of the process:

  1. A truck moves an empty container to the shipper
  2. The shipper loads the container with goods
  3. The truck transports the loaded container to the port
  4. At the port, the container is loaded onto the steamship, which is forwarded to the port of destination
  5. The container is driven to the warehouse of the receiver shortly after being discharged at the port of destination


Intermodal freight transportation provides organizations with flexible options in their supply chain as they move their goods from the source to the customer. In today’s ever-changing transportation market, intermodal freight transportation is beginning to be integrated more frequently into the supply chain strategy. This allows the optimization of trade-offs among the components of supply chains and the service and cost aspects of the means of transportation. Intermodal freight transportation can increase a company’s bottom line by providing significant saving over traditional over the road trucking.


To learn more about freight transportation and how PLS can help your company utilize intermodal methods, contact us to request a freight quote today.