Multimodal Freight, Shipping & Logistics

Part Of The Freight Term Glossary


Intermodal vs Multimodal

Multimodal shipping, also known as multimodal logistics, describes the contractual arrangements, rather than shipment mode.

Most international freight door to door shipments are either intermodal or multimodal. What’s the difference between intermodal and multimodal transport? Although they sound like a shipment mode, they are both really a combination of other modes.

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Types of Multimodal Transport

By using shipping containers, shipments can easily move from one form of transport to another. The types of multimodal  transport used for pickup and drop off is usually road, although rail or barge modes may also be used. The modes used for the main transit is either ocean or air.

Advantages of Multimodal Transport

Under a multimodal shipping arrangement, the shipper has one contract of carriage with the forwarder. That is, there is only one house bill of lading. This arrangement cuts down on other paperwork as well and requires less communications too – including for shipment tracking. The other benefit of multimodal freight is that it should also result in better routing and a shorter transit time.

Multimodal Tracking

Getting visibility on multimodal shipments can be difficult because several logistics providers are involved. When booking on, you can access an advanced shipment tracking tool that delivers a smoother and more transparent shipping experience.

Multimodal logistics