Freight Shipping: What Option Best Fits Your Needs?

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Your freight could move by a variety of means. Prior to choosing which is best suited for your freight shipping, there are a number of important factors to consider, and they will help you determine which option is right for you. The freight dimensions comprised of length, width, and height, along with freight weight, fragility, storage needs and delivery requirements are just a few of the critical elements that help steer the direction of a freight shipment. Continue reading Freight Shipping: What Option Best Fits Your Needs?

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Getting on Board with Intermodal Freight Shipping

rr_editIntermodal shipments have been growing steadily over the past few years. According to truckinginfo.com, domestic intermodal traffic was up 9% in Q2 2013. This growth is fueled by a constantly expanding network for rail, shippers seeking more cost-effective fuel solutions and improved service offerings from providers. As Intermodal options expand, it may be time to consider moving your freight on the rail.

Does Intermodal work for my freight?

Domestic intermodal transport typically consists of an intermodal container being moved by a truck to the rail, then a truck again to the final destination. Regular or recurring shipments are particularly well suited for intermodal because it can provide a consistent supply chain solution. Intermodal is a good fit for a range of freight and products. However, the shipments that are best suited for Intermodal are typically longer haul lanes moving to or from 200-300 miles of a major metro. 

Why chose intermodal?

Rail is the most fuel efficient mode of transport available today, so intermodal freight shipping can provide significant fuel cost savings over road-based transport. This fuel efficiency also translates into a greener, more environmentally friendly way to move cargo, which many shippers are looking for.  Additionally, intermodal is safe and secure for your freight, providing a dependable alternative to the truckload spot market, especially in lanes of tight capacity. Many freight commodities are insured up to $250,000 while on the rail, providing even more security for your cargo.

On top of all this, rail is still expanding its footprint in North America. More logistics centers and miles of rail line are being put into place, increasing destination options and service level for intermodal shipments.

How do I get started with intermodal?

Freightquote is a certified IMC (Intermodal Marketing Carrier), buying intermodal capacity at wholesale from the best rail lines. This means we can pass the savings and selection on to our customers. Getting an intermodal shipment set up can take a little more coordination than a truckload shipment, but Freightquote has a team of dedicated intermodal expects to help guide your shipment. Contact Freightquote at 800.323.5441 or  visit Freightquote.com to start shipping intermodal now.

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Why Ship Intermodal with Freightquote?

Freightquote.com and its subsidiary Twin Modal have offered shippers the option of transporting their freight via intermodal transportation for many years. But why should a shipper consider using intermodal service? What are the benefits as compared to traditional truck carriage?

Intermodal transportation has certainly been on the rise in recent years. Intermodal is the transportation of freight in containers using several different modes of transportation. Technically, this could involve any combination of rail, truck, sea and air freight transport. Most commonly in the United States, though, it refers to a truck/rail combination.

The first benefit to using intermodal is generally reduced cost as compared to trucking in a cross-country trip. (Shorter trips are still less expensive over-the-road.) One reason is the lower fuel expense of rail transport in these days of greatly fluctuating fuel costs.

A second benefit for many shippers is the increased security and reduced damages resulting from less cargo handling. The cargo is loaded onto a container at the point of origin and is not usually touched until it is unloaded at its destination. Less handling means less opportunity for damage in most instances. (It should be noted though that not all products are appropriate for rail transport. Very fragile and very heavy freight should still travel over-the-road to be safe.)

Some shippers may be concerned about the added time that intermodal shipments require. While it is true that intermodal freight takes a bit longer, the transit times are actually getting better. The railroads are now offering much more consistent service and a direct coast-to-coast delivery now usually takes just over a week.

As more manufacturers consider their environmental impact, it may also be important to note that intermodal transportation uses less fuel and produces less pollution than roadway transport for the same freight and distance.

By using the freight quoting services at Freightquote.com, shippers can easily compare the transit times and costs associated with both intermodal and over-the-road shipments.  The Freightquote system allows customers to view each option side-by-side before deciding which works best for them. Once a decision is made, booking the shipment is simple and easily managed from pick-up to delivery regardless of which mode is chosen.

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