Advantages and benefits

Logistics and transport companies, who were faced with the lack of truck drivers, increased demand, decreasing truck capacities and increased fuel prices in the last couple of years, are often not aware of the benefits of intermodal transport services. However, intermodal transport has been playing increasingly a major role in the transport markets due to providing many benefits for the users of those kind of services.

Intermodal transport combines the advantages of each system, which are in particular:

Advantages road:

  • Flexibility in time and area for regional distribution and collection respectively

Advantages rail:

  • Economic and fast carriage of large quantities of freight over long distances
  • Fixed schedules
  • Most environmentally friendly means of transport

Besides the transport mode specific advantages, there are many collective economic and general benefits that may result from the practical use of intermodal transport (some depending on country specific rules):

Economic benefits:

  • Exemption from or reimbursement of motor vehicle tax, Road tolls only to be paid on remaining road pre- and oncarriage
  • Enhanced weight of 44 tonnes on road pre- and oncarriage
  • Exemption from driving ban on Sunday and holidays
  • Fixed schedules for more reliability and predictability
  • Less wear on equipment and thus reduced vehicle and loading units costs, longer working life
  • Free capacity on vehicles and truck drivers
  • RoLa: journey time on rail = rest period

General benefits:

  • Combination of advantages of rail and road (see above)
  • Reduction of road congestions and improvement of road safety
  • Reduction of noise and CO2 emissions: acc. to Transport Emission Model (TREMOD) of IFEU-Institut in Heidelberg, with every shifted truck load 54 gramm of CO2 will be saved per tonne and kilometer