Intermodal Shipping

Shippers who use truckload freight shipping received some alarming news recently. A new Journal of Commerce article cited analyst David G Ross who suggested that there could be significant increases in truckload freight rates and less truckload capacity that might make intermodal shipping seem more promising for supply chains. Higher truckload rates could be troublesome for supply chains that depend on domestic freight shipping. There are some reasons why this predictable rate change could occur. More government regulations on the shipping industry, especially towards truck drivers with the new hours of services rules, might be impacting the rate increase and truckload capacity issues. Another concern could be the growing expense of diesel fuel costs. And Ross also said that the problem is almost unavoidable for truckload freight shipping.

The good news is that there might be some hope for shippers. Ross said that there are alternatives for truckload shipping. The biggest alternative might be having more intermodal supply chains that embrace shipping by rail. Intermodal shipping could save money and time if planned properly. One study found that rail costs users 2.7 cents per ton-mile as opposed to trucking which costs users 5 cents per ton-mile. And shipping by rail could save 25% of truck fuel by 2050. One intermodal example would be to move some shipments by rail and then finish by truck to the destination.

Another solution to avoid problems could be achieved by working with more freight forwarders who can provide great rates, outstanding service and a shipping plan that can save supply chains money.