In the freight transport sector there are two different types of operations that are used to move large or small loads. These operations are grouped into what we call intermodal transport and multimodal transport.

Next, we will talk about what are the characteristics of these two types of logistics and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each one so that you can understand which is more convenient for your company.

What is intermodal transport?

Intermodal transport logistics carries out operations in which various means of transport are involved. However, for them only one measure of load is used, which is usually that of containers .

In other words, with intermodal transport, different means of transport can be used, but the load maintains a standard in its measure.

Advantages of intermodal transport

One of the most significant benefits of intermodal transport is that the efficiency of each operation is increased, which is reflected in the reduction and speeding up of the transshipment of goods.

In addition, with this type of operation, the inspections that are carried out take less time, since each container transferred already has a seal, positively affecting waiting times and speeding up the service.

In the same way, loading and unloading times are also reduced because the merchandise does not change containers.

As various means of transport are used, each person in charge issues a document, becoming individually responsible for the entire process of moving the merchandise.

What is intermodal transport?

Disadvantages of intermodal transport
You cannot talk about the advantages of a system without considering the cons that its use or application can bring.

Although it is true that there are not many, the disadvantages can make a difference when hiring a service.

In the case of intermodal transport, it must be considered that, as different means of transport are used, a delay may be generated in the logistics chain due to different inconveniences between one means and another.

Another disadvantage is that by making use of containers it is essential that heavy work cranes are used to carry out the transfer, which implies a high cost in the infrastructure.

So… what is multimodal transport?

Although they are two different operations, Intermodal and Multimodal transport do not have large or truly significant differences.

In the case we are talking about, multimodal transport also makes use of various means of transport to carry merchandise from one place to another. However, it not only uses a truck, but it can be combined with another means of land transport, such as a freight train, air transport , or maritime transport such as merchant ships, which turn out to be more useful internationally .

Differences between intermodal and multimodal transport

Both transport operations are quite similar. In both, merchandise is transferred from one place to another, making use of different means of transport for it.

The big difference between the two lies in the way the cargo is transported.

In the case of multimodal transport, the merchandise goes in packages of different sizes, depending on the content of the cargo, and is transferred from one means of transport (land, air or sea) to others.

For its part, in the intermodal, the operation is carried out by the intermodal transport units. Containers, trailers and moving boxes are contemplated to organize the merchandise. Here only the charging unit moves.

With the clearer picture of the different intermodal and multimodal transport operations, and seeing the most significant advantages of both, it should be mentioned that there is no type of transport that is better than the other, but rather the choice of one or the other. it will be based on what needs to be moved and which one best suits those needs.

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