Controlling costs may prove to be the most important aspect of business as far as shipping companies are concerned. Benefits to reducing and maintaining those costs come from multiple sources, such as intermodal shipping. The ability to know the status of your intermodal shipment in real-time effectively gives a more predictable delivery time.
Why the Pandemic Led to Growth in Intermodal Shipping
Air and ocean freight saw recent changes in 2020 as the global pandemic negatively affected capacity and space. The approaching peak season is expected to grow capacity as the global economy reopens. Meanwhile, intermodal transportation rates began to grow due to two essential factors on the road to the health of the market:
- Federal Financial Assistance has ended; however, many truckers still have cash on hand.
- Improving employment numbers will bring back the capacity demands.
Intermodal rail began to experience growth in 2021 as e-commerce trends rose and inventory demands were received.
Benefits of Tracking Tools and Technology
Aside from the cost-efficiency, there are several other benefits derived from improved intermodal shipment tracking, including fuel efficiency, sustainability, consistency, and available capacity in several ways:
- Technological advances allow these benefits to predict end-to-end deliveries using Application Programming Interfaces (API), which effectively allow transportation companies to share information between platforms more easily.
- Track-and-trace systems enable companies to provide better customer service and improved logistics. Through intermodal shipping transportation, businesses integrate more advanced track-and-trace systems from the vendor to the end consumer.
- Barcodes help facilitate the intermodal shipping process to ensure reliability. Smartphone apps allow the barcoding system to operate smoothly with picture-capturing utilization. The data from the barcodes and smartphone apps are then uploaded to the cloud to be accessed remotely for user interface between transportation companies.
Providing Better Delivery
Intermodal shipping permits shippers more access to equipment and transit schedules. By doing so, companies obtain additional savings and the ability to streamline logistics. Circling back to the benefits of intermodal shipping, fuel efficiency remains essential to keeping costs low.
Companies can reduce transportation costs by shipping freight as intermodal through rail and truck. Fuel costs can rise drastically while moving freight; however, utilizing intermodal rail shipping is far more economical. For instance, one ton of cargo transported for over 450 miles by rail would use only one gallon of fuel, as reported by Inbound Logistics.
By cutting these costs, delivery times are slashed in half, providing extra savings and maintaining goals and peace of mind to the end consumer. Consumer relations changed over recent years and continue to change as convenience thrives.
Customer Service Through Intermodal Shipping
Customers today want products on-demand, forcing businesses to change the way logistics are run, systems, shipping availability, and more. Intermodal shipping provides easier and faster models through rail and trucking, as long as the capacity is available.
Companies terminate relationships with carriers if their capacity demands are not met. Remaining flexible and ensuring the carrier keeps promises and will not divert containers secures the promises made to the end consumer.
Enjoying the Benefits of Real-Time Intermodal Shipping
Carriers and businesses alike remain focused on the end goal — to find the most cost-efficient ways to maintain relationships with the end consumers. Simple tasks such as updating inventory, reversing logistics, and utilizing technology that helps businesses thrive all play major roles in intermodal shipping. Businesses globally and domestically utilize the cloud to maintain real-time delivery schedules that empower customers to track products through apps and company sites on demand. Intermodal shipping allows fuel costs to drop to all-time lows and trends for growth are reported post-pandemic life. Connect with OpenTrack to see how your company could tap these benefits today.