The Future is Intermodal

Smith, Ronald
May 2000
Logistics & Transport Focus;May2000, Vol. 2 Issue 4, p20
Trade Publication
Discusses why intermodal transportation is said to be the most advantageous way of transporting goods in Great Britain. The solution presented in this article is called the combined transport or intermodal transport. Combined transport is using the best attributes of more than one mode of transport in combination to achieve the maximum benefit. Road is excellent for being flexible, and for being able to reach any door that is on the road. Rail is excellent for moving goods quickly, economically, safely, and is environmentally beneficial, over longer distances. By using these modal strengths together, the optimum transport method is achieved. To overcome the perceived disadvantage of the additional weight of combined transport equipment over a straight truck, combined transport movements to and from a railhead are allowed to weigh up to 44 tons gross vehicle weight, that is, including swap body, goods, the driver and even the fuel in the truck tank. Service quality is of prime importance. Combined transport trains, with mail trains, must be given top priority status above that of passenger trains. Terminals can vary from simple cheap affairs to large, busy depots with many portal frame cranes.


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