MULTIMODAL/INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION: -
September 7th, 2010
Multimodal transport means using more than one modes of transport during the delivery of a particular consignment. It is a combination of more than one mode of transport.
For e.g.: if a consignment is been transported from one country to another like from Japan to India by using a ship i.e. water transport and after unloading in India the consignment is forwarded to its destination either by train or by road then we are combining water mode with rail or road. Hence, it becomes Multimodal & not Single modal transport.
We have seen some factors that affect the choice of transport mode, but organizations do not have to use the same mode for an entire journey. Their best option is often to divide the journey into stages and the best mode for each stage. This does, of course, depend on factors like the length of the journey and relative costs. Journeys that use several modes of transport are called intermodal.
The aim of intermodal transport is to combine the benefits of several separate modes, but avoid the disadvantages of each; perhaps combining the low cost of shipping with the flexibility of road, or getting the speed of air with the cost of road. The main problem is that each transfer between modes causes delays for extra handling. You can experience this effect when you transfer between a bus and train, or between a car and ferry. Intermodal transport only works if this transfer can be done efficiently.
There are some common type of multimodal transport which is used in the transportation system, they are:
1] Piggy Back:
It is a combination of rail and road. The containers are placed on railway flat-cars and transported by rail from one terminal to another. After reaching the destination terminal, they can be placed on trailers and transported by roads which are also called as TOFC that is Trailer on Flat Car or COFC- Container on Flat Car.
The best known and most widely used intermodal system is the trailer on a flatcar (TOFC). Piggyback or trailer – on flatcar is specialized form of containerization in which rail and transport coordinate. In piggyback, the carrier places the carrier trailer on a rail flatcar, which moves the trailer by rail for long distances. And then motor carrier moves the trailer for short distances for pickups and deliveries.
Container on flat car (COFC):-
Railways offer double stack cars which allow two containers to be transported on one railcar. This type of service allows a shipper to transport goods over water and surface without having to waste time and money unloading and reloading trailers or railcars. COFC allows for inexpensive and efficient transportation of wide variety of goods.
2] Fishy Back:
It is a combination of road and water transport. Fishy back/ train ship/ containership are examples of the oldest mode of the intermodal transport. They utilize waterways, which are one of the least expensive methods for line- haul movement. The fishy back, train ship and container ship concepts load a truck trailer, railcar, or container on to ship for the line- haul move. Such services are provided in coastal waters between Atlantic and Gulf ports, from the great lakes to coastal points and along inland navigable waterways.
3] Birdy Back:
It is a combination of road and airways and is generally used in International shipments. Local cartage is a vital part of every air movement because air fright must eventually transport from the airport to the final delivery destination. Air- truck movements usually provide service and flexibility comparable to straight motor freight.
Air- truck is a combination for premium package services, such as those provided by UPS and Federal Express, but it can also be used for more standard freight applications for several reasons. First, there is a lack of freight transport to smaller cities and package carriers are well suited to serves this small cities. As a result many air carriers have extended their motor freight range to provide services to expanded areas.
4] Land Bridge:
A variant of this intermodal option is the “LAND BRIDGE” concept, which moves containers by a combination of sea and rail. The land bridge concept is based on the benefit of ocean and rail combination that utilize a single tariff, which is lower than the total cost of the separate rates. The-goods can be transported by water transferring the shipment to surface transport and again finish destination will be placed on a rail car and transported to Chennai from where it will again be loaded on a vessel for transferring to say port Blaire.