Multimodal Transport

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What is Multimodal Transport?

Multimodal transport is understood to be all those forms of movement of goods that involve the articulation of different modes of transport. In it involves two or more vehicles within the same contract of services with the aim of making faster and more efficient delivery operations. It should not be confused with intermodal transportation.

This type of transportation method has become increasingly popular in the contemporary global economy, as goods must travel enormous distances to reach their destination. This is why you often have to change vehicles, be they air, sea or land.

Any shipment from one hemisphere of the world to the other (say, from the United States to China) serves as an example for this type of transportation, generally involving ships, trains, and trucks. The efficiency of the transport will depend on the contracted organization and the set of legal limitations that the merchandise must overcome, the latter being one of its main problems.

Multimodal transport can be of the following types:

- Multimodal maritime transport: That involves mini-ships and large ships to move the merchandise by sea.
- Multimodal land transport: Which generally involves road transport and rail transport.

Characteristics of multimodal transport

We can mention some fundamental characteristics of multimodal transport:

- It involves various mechanisms of land transport or maritime transport, or combinations of both.
- It's both national and international, although the latter is more common.
- All the transfer of the merchandise responds to a single contract that includes all the mechanisms used.

Importance of multimodal transport

In the face of the transport dynamics of a world that is increasingly interconnected economically, but which still can't overcome its national and regional barriers, multimodal transport is an economical and useful option, which also offers employment at the local and international level. Seen this way, its use overcomes the drawbacks of its greater operational and legal complexity.

Advantages of multimodal transport

As in many cases, the convenience in the use of multimodal transport will depend on the nature of the merchandise transported and the destination set for it. However, choosing this type of transport can mean advantages such as:

- Shorter shipping time, choosing fast mechanisms.
- Transportation services cheaper to cover commonly expensive routes.
- Reduction of loading and unloading times by up to 70%, using the multimodal organization of the merchandise.
- Lower risk of theft and / or loss, since insurance premiums are much lower and invite competition.
- Greater simplicity in the process, since everything responds to a single transport contract.

Multimodal transport and intermodal transport

The difference between multimodal transport and intermodal transport is that the latter does the same as multimodal transport but, throughout the entire journey, uses Intermodal Transport Units (ICU) such as containers, semi-trailers or swap bodies. This allows even greater speed of transfer between one vehicle and another, making the movement of the merchandise as agile as possible.

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