Analysis of Seamless Intermodal Transfers in Freight
Intermodal transportation is the foundation of world trade, and in the last two decades it has shown significant growth in contribution to traffic volumes. It involves a minimum of two different transportation modes or services to move material from its source to its destination. Intermodal transportation allows customers to take advantage of the best combination of rail, sea, and road transport for the most cost-effective freight movement, primarily for long-haul shipments. An intermodal network depends not only on carrier reliability but on its overall management and the management of its individual elements.
Conventional railroad contracts were long term and based on high-volume movement of a certain type of freight, such as coal. The main performance metric was the cost per ton per kilometer; other aspects, such as the quality of delivery, received little attention. This resulted in the unreliable trip times, inefficient asset utilization, and subsequent loss of market share to road transport. However, rail regulators and operators have been taking restructuring steps to make rail a more competitive and integral component of intermodal transportation.
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