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

Without the humble shipping container, where would we all be? These metal rectangular boxes house our most prized commodities as they travel thousands of miles to reach our households. From coffee to electronics and pharmaceuticals to clothing, it’s the container that makes logistics and global shipping possible.

How much do you know about the shipping container? Versatile, durable and efficient, let’s take a moment to dedicate a blog post to shipping containers with 10 amazing facts that will have you nodding your head in wonder and admiration.

1. Just how active are shipping containers? There are around 17 million currently in circulation around the world with 5 million of those active.

2. A shipping container will make an estimated 200 million trips in its lifetime!

3. The Port of Shanghai is the busiest port in the world. In 2013 it handled over 33 million containers.

4. This is cool: If you laid every container in the world end to end to create a “container chain” so to speak, it would wrap around the earth two times!

5. In 1956 the first modern day intermodal shipping container was designed by Malcolm McLean. It was only 8 ft high. Now, shipping containers can be 40 ft.

6. You’ll be blown away by how much cargo can fit in one 40 ft container. Let’s take shoe boxes for example. It’s possible to squeeze 8,000 shoe boxes in one of these bad boys!

7. Container City is a city in Mexico built entirely from shipping containers. The city is 48,000 sq ft., comprised of restaurants, hotels, museums and apartments all constructed from containers.

8. Shipping containers have been the inspiration of modern architects for the past decade. People have used them for storage space, transformed them into businesses, workshops and even tiny homes to live in.

9. 97% of shipping containers are manufactured in China, and they are incredibly strong. If regularly maintained a container will last 20 years.

10. With all of those shipping containers making their way around the world, it’s inevitable that some will get lost. In fact, it’s estimated that around 612 are lost at sea each year.

In need of shipping containers or need intermodal transportation in Jacksonville, FL? Contact US1Network for all of your container needs!

Tips for Intermodal Efficiency
Courtney L.
December 29, 2016

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