It may be old news that freight shippers incorporate intermodal more often these days to help solve transportation challenges. But saving money never gets old. Is it time for you to jump on board?

The growing popularity of intermodal transportation is reflected in railroad capital expenditures, $15 billion in 2014 and growing (Source: BNSF Railway Company alone will invest $6 billion in 2015 (Source:

While railroads invest, shippers gain more reasons for using it.

The $15 billion investment by railroads is creating greater access to equipment and more favorable schedules, increasing intermodal reliability and creating a truck-like experience. In some areas of the country, rail offers a more consistent service compared with the highway.

Overall, intermodal offers lower rates and pricing that’s more predictable than trucks. According to CSX, you can “realize cost savings of up to 10 to 40 percent when you convert freight from the highway to intermodal rail.”

Rail is more energy efficient than trucking. That helps to reduce costs and your carbon footprint, making intermodal the “green” choice on two counts.

Do these benefits offset the presumed lack of flexibility and speed? In cases where there’s a significant cost savings, you may find that an easy question to answer. Where the benefits are less obvious, talk to your 3PL. Your 3PL can analyze shipping lanes and work with you to develop strategies that just might overcome concerns about speed.

Trucks will remain an integral cog in the many moving parts of moving freight. This is true even as we see fewer drivers, new government policies that restrict driving hours and a new generation of workers who don’t find any appeal in driving a truck.

Intermodal, of course, still relies on trucks. And drayage truck drivers are becoming harder to find, according to speakers at the 2015 NASSTRAC Shippers Conference.

Yet, integrating intermodal into your transportation gives you more, and sometimes better, options. The railroads continue to give us billions of reasons to take a long, hard look.

Interested in learning more about  WIS Logistics’ services?  Give us a call on our toll free number!  (877)-9470-0908