Often, more than one type or ‘mode’ of transportation is not enough to get your international freight delivered on time. Multi-modal transport can be a complex beast. If you’re trying to decide between the two, knowing more in-depth about each of them can help you make an informed decision. The differences are relatively simple and straightforward – we break them down here to help it all makes sense.
The meaning of multi-modal transportation is essentially using more than one kind of transportation that all fall underneath the same contract. Although the cargo may traverse land, sea, and air – the carrier maintains liability the entire way.
With a multi-modal transport contract, a carrier is liable for the entire carriage – although it might be shipped through different platforms (such as road, sea, air, or rail). Most of the time shippers will use sub-contracted carriers that specialize in particular types of cargo transportation.
While they are similar names, they are small differences between the two. Inter-modal tends to be the more economical option of the two, thanks to an intrinsic difference with this sort of international shipping.
As opposed to the constant on and offloading of cargo with multi-modal, inter-modal freight is packed inside a container, and stays there for the duration of its journey – the entire container changes transports – but the cargo remains inside. This technique creates a much more efficient form of shipping.
There is another critical difference between these two common types of international freight shipping. Inter-modal shipments benefit from being limited to one container that remains secure (closed), but they require the creation of multiple contracts with separate carriers. Maintaining a handle on all the paperwork can be a complicated process, and great care must be taken.
Inter-modal transportation also has the benefit of allowing the shipper to choose individual carriers – making the delivery of cargo more efficient than ever. Inversely, a multi-modal shipment requires but one contract during the entire journey. This difference streamlines communications to ensure the safe and efficient travel of goods.
Regardless of what type of international freight shipping or transportation you need – from auto transport to LTL – PPLUS is your go-to for trusted, consistent, and fast delivery of your precious cargo. Contact us today to help stimulate the growth and success of your business and optimize your global logistics strategy!