Intro to Intermodal

in·ter·mo·dal — adj.

Pertaining to transportation involving more than one form of carrier, as truck and rail, or truck, ship, and rail.

An intermodal facility optimizes three transportation modes — trains, ships and trucks — to move goods efficiently both domestically and internationally. Numerous movements take place to ensure that cargo arrives at its final destination.

For more information, visit to learn more on IANA, North America's leading industry trade association representing the combined interests of the intermodal freight industry.

Shippers taking advantage of
intermodal rail will see advantages in:


Cost Savings

Transportation costs are a huge factor for shippers. When freight is converted from highway to intermodal rail, significant cost savings are realized. Additionally, intermodal facilities that have a direct interface with marine container terminals add to this overall cost benefit.



Intermodal trains can carry more cargo than other ground transportation by double stacking containers. One intermodal train can carry a load equivalent of 280 cargo trucks.


Environmental Friendliness

Intermodal rail is more fuel efficient than trucks, emitting less air emissions in the environment. Railroads move a ton of freight an average of 470 miles on a single gallon of gasoline.