Intermodal transportation is a process by which shipping containers are moved from one place to another via more than one mode of transport. During the transport process, the cargo inside the container is not touched. Intermodal shipping containers are used to help facilitate the shipment process. Because the process is different than other methods of shipping, people want to know what their shipping container options are when utilizing intermodal transportation.
Let’s take a look at the various options that you can deploy with intermodal transport.
An intermodal shipping container is the most common device used to ship cargo. A construction standard for the shipping container makes it easier for logistics by making sure that the containers are easy to stack and match with each other.
The standard for an intermodal shipping container is for the container to be 8 feet wide and either 8 or 9 feet tall. The construction standards do not specify a length for the shipping container; however, the two most common options are 20-foot or 40-foot containers. Other container lengths are seen but not as often are 45-foot, 48-foot, and 53-foot. Non-standard intermodal containers are occasionally seen, but they are rare compared to the five options listed above. Non-standard sizes are usually constructed for a specified cargo that can’t use the standard sizes.
Companies around the world have attempted to make pushes for alternative options to the standard height of the shipping containers to be adopted. One popular reform is for 10-foot 6-inch containers to be accepted.
For material that requires unique storage, such as tanks, there are options out there. A tanktainer is a container with a reservoir built inside the structure to support the transport of various liquids. You can also get containers specifically designed for transporting perishables or containers with soft-top lids.
One thing that is standard across all intermodal shipping containers is that the cargo is secured. The most common accident for trucks transporting a shipping container is due to the load shifting because it isn’t anchored properly. Just like the standardization of the shipping container helps your load to get to your destination, so does proper securing of the cargo.
Shipping with standardized intermodal containers just makes sense. It allows you to get your cargo from one point to another as quickly as possible. There is no loading and offloading of the goods except at the destination. Most shipping applications can fit in one of the containers above. For those that won’t, you can often find the appropriately modified container.