Home AUTO 9 Reasons Why Intermodal Trucking is Better Than OTR

9 Reasons Why Intermodal Trucking is Better Than OTR

Intermodal Trucking

Over-the-road trucking (OTR) is a travel means through which freight is brought from one warehouse to another using a truck. OTR trips can be anywhere; freight can move hundreds to thousands of miles. The driver has to stay on the road for days on most of the trips.

However, intermodal trucking is a better and more effective mode of transportation. With intermodal, the driver transports the freight from a rail to the trip’s next leg. Typically, the loads move from the rail to the warehouse and back to the rail.  Visit the MX solutions website if you are looking for the best intermodal shipping agency. Here are the reasons why intermodal trucking beats OTR.

Lower Costs

As a business owner, you can reduce the cost of transportation by shipping freight via intermodal containers. Trains consume much less fuel than trucks; a train may have a ton of freight almost 450 miles using only one gallon of fuel. It is a more cost-effective method as transportation by rail lowers the cost per metric ton.

Intermodal transportation also saves money through its ability to transport in containers. With containers, less individual handling is required as the goods are left in the container until the day they get delivered to their last destination. You only need to make a little effort to move a shipment from the truck to the train or ship. You can save 10-30% when you ship through intermodal instead of OTR with the same level of efficiency and reliability.

Consistent Capacity

Since there is a shortage of drivers and an increase in shipping activities, shippers are more attracted to intermodal transportation. It offers reliable capacity when and where it is needed, more so, it also facilitates less competition to secure the freight, and that lowers the cost further as compared to OTR.

With high-volume freight channels, there is enormous potential in intermodal transport. With a truckload, one driver can handle a lot of shipments in one day, but with intermodal rail, carriages raise the capacity of containers by stacking them on each other.

Quality Service

The quality of service offered is why intermodal trucking is the best option. It is a more resourceful and faster option compared to OTR. It is important to note that intermodal service providers are raising the train speed while reducing the time of cars in the yard.


Intermodal means of transport are safer and more secure for cargo transportation than OTR. Using good quality and the right shipping container parts ensures safe Intermodal trucking. A train is less likely to get involved in an accident, even when carrying highly combustible and hazardous freight. It has fewer restrictions on unloading, loading, and carrying dangerous materials.

The American Association of Railroads asserts that intermodal transportation is a safe option. In their records, 99.999% of hazmat transported by rail have had no discharge because of a train accident.


With the new technological advancements, shipping intermodal has become more efficient and reliable. The containers can track and trace, making them more convenient than OTR. You no longer have to go through the 3-day delivery period while being kept in the dark hoping that your shipment will make it.

It can be Eco-friendly.

You can consider intermodal shipping one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport. Using rail in intermodal shipping lowers the environmental effect and provides fuel efficiency. It minimizes the carbon footprint and is effective in the reduction of greenhouse emissions.

It is Ideal for Long-distance Shipping.

Compared to OTR, using intermodal shipping in your company will help you reduce the time you usually take for delivery. Unlike in OTR, the containers used in intermodal shipping facilitate how commodities move between the modes of transportation. It has shorter loading and unloading periods which enables faster delivery.

Reduces Highway Congestion

With the OTR mode of transport, you will always experience a lot of heavy trucks on the highway, which is dangerous and brings congestion. A good way of reducing congestion on the highway is by shifting some volume of freight from the road and embracing intermodal transport. It helps in the organization of urban traffic.

Intermodal Shipping is more Reliable for Cross-Border Shipping

If you are moving freight, for instance, between the three North American countries in the US, Mexico, and Canada, it can be a challenge creating an opportunity for there to be delays. However, if you choose intermodal trucking over OTR as a shipper, your products will move way smoother because of customs, clearance process, and taxes.

In the case of Mexico, the security offered by intermodal transportation is an additional benefit. However, you must understand that it is your sole responsibility to insure your products as a shipper because, in Mexico, there is no insurance coverage.

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