Tips for Intermodal Efficiency

Over the years the demand for shipping has grown steadily and with that growth there has been a surge in productivity for the intermodal industry as shippers turn to multiple methods of transportation to meet that demand. Railways are coming into the spotlight for long distance deliveries, garnering interest for fuel efficiency and lower cost. Costs for shipping by rail can be anywhere from 15 to 40 percent less than by truck since trains depend less on fuel. Interested in going intermodal but new to the game? Keep these tips in mind and remember to call US1 Network with any questions regarding intermodal drayage.

Know the schedules like a pro

Incorporating rail into the supply chain is a strategic maneuver for the long run, but it also takes careful analysis to ensure you know when the trains take off and how to synchronize those schedules with your shipment. What is the train’s schedule and how will that affect the pickup and delivery time? You have to get your load to the origin ramp without delay and know when the train is due to reach the destination.

Drayage shouldn’t be overlooked

You can’t put all of your focus into the efficiency of the rail, don’t forget about the OTR carriers transporting goods to and from the ramp. You’ll want to make sure you carefully choose a reliable 3PL to ensure you get quality service and equipment. Streamline every aspect of your supply chain, one weak link can be costly.

Take care of your products

Especially if you’re shipping LTL.  You won’t know what other products will be traveling alongside your goods, so take care to package them properly. Determine whether your freight is fragile or non-fragile and keep it contained within a crate or box. Place your boxed goods on top of a pallet stacked in a tight square shape and avoid overhang. Print out the “Bill of Ladings” and stick it onto each package, just in case.

Tips for Intermodal Efficiency

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 100,000 accidents occur annually due to drowsy drivers that doze off on the road.

In fact, sleep deprivation is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. With long hours on the road meeting deadlines along the supply chain, it can get dangerous without taking the proper health measures to ensure you’re alert and ready to rock it.

Here are our top 6 tips to help you stay smart and savvy while driving your long haul truck.

  • Take a power nap before getting behind the wheel. Studies show that as much as 20-45 minutes of rest can help you feel refreshed. Be careful not to overdo it though. Over 90 minutes of sleep can put you in sleep inertia.
  • Make sure you’re eating for energy. That means eating healthy foods that boost energy, such as fruits, vegetables, protein and grains. Add some Vitamin B & C, known to energize. Ditch sugary, fatty foods, which can make you feel lethargic and sleepy.
  • Take a cool shower. Notice we said cool and not hot. That’s because cold water helps wake up your body while hot water tends to relax muscles and mind.
  • Pump up the tunes. There’s nothing like some upbeat music to get your juices flowing. If you’re feeling tired, try singing along to your favorites. Audiobooks are a great way to keep your mind captivated on those long roads as well.
  • Drink that water. It really is a miracle that transforms the body! Staying hydrated is a great way to keep energy levels up and to help your brain stay focused and alert.
  • If you’re dozing, PULL OVER. Don’t risk it and don’t put pressure on yourself. If you find that your eyes are shutting, be responsible and pull over on the side of the road or in a rest area to catch some zzz’s.
Courtney L.
December 29, 2016
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