If you have not yet joined the intermodal bandwagon, then this is the best time to do so. Currently, the capacity is well balanced while the rates have remained positive and steady in addition to a smooth service. As you can see, nothing should hold you back from joining the intermodal industry, as long as it fits into your shipping organization. However, there are various things to familiarize yourself with, if you want to integrate intermodal into your freight strategy successfully.
The Tips & tricks for successful intermodal services
According to guidelines, the maximum bill of lading weight allowed for a truckload is 45,000 pounds while an intermodal container has a limit of 42,500 pounds. As you can see, the truckload is 2,500 pounds heavier than the intermodal container. However, you also need to educate yourself on the specifics of weight allowed and aligned on every axle. Such knowledge helps to keep you on the legal side.
Blocking and Bracing
Regardless of how well you secure your loads, they will eventually shift during transit. This occurrence is common on rails, due to harmonic vibration. Although these vibrations are not intense, their consistency moves the load vertically and horizontally within the container, if not braced and blocked securely. Most shippers believe that blocking and bracing is expensive and time consuming. However, there are various affordable products for quick and effective blocking and bracing.
Restricted Versus Prohibited Item
With a prohibited item, you cannot load it onto the container, regardless of the circumstance. On the other hand, restricted commodities can be loaded onto a container, as long as they adhere to certain limits and caveats. You need to know all the items that are under this category, to ensure all your items are suitable for intermodal transportation.
Review Cut and Transit Times
Intermodal transit basically matches truck times plus one day. However, you need to evaluate two important factors, before you can determine transit times. First you need to establish whether the lane moves every day. You also need to determine the time taken by the intermodal container to be loaded in order to make the expected transit. With good planning, you can easily determine the transit and cut times, and then organize your deliveries accordingly.
Responsibility of Load Integrity
Who is responsible for the load integrity? Well, three different parties have a direct connection with intermodal loads. They include the origin dray company, the destination dray company as well as the railroad. However, it is the duty of the shipper to ensure the safety and integrity of the load.