Logistical planning in intermodal transport


Canada and the USA are linked to each other geographically. Both part of North America, the transport of goods and products is almost continuous intermodally between both countries. Intermodal transport does take much logistical planning for successful transport and companies do hire individuals who are skilled in logistics. Charts, graphs, and timelines must be exact for intermodal transport to be successful.

Intermodal transport is simply the use of different types of shipping to ensure products arrive quickly at their destinations and are not damaged. Many types of transport may be used as well as many types and sizes of containers. Air, sea, and land transportation may be used either singularly or in combinations. The planning of this all does include a logistical plan as the timing of each mode of pickup and delivery is crucial at each destination point.

Logistical planning explained

Logistics sounds very complex and it is not an easy method of planning. It is not overly complex though but does take a great deal of attention to detail and fine-tuning for the delivery of intermodal freight to go smoothly.

Logistics is simply a step-by-step detailed plan for intermodal transport that details when and where each destination is and what type of transport will be used at each destination point. Logistics is used in all types of environments from technical planning to workplace strategies but is needed in intermodal transport between the USA and Canada.

Intermodal transport options

Depending upon the products to be shipped and the destination, intermodal transport between the USA and Canada can include air, rail, road, and even ship as waterways exist. Sometimes only one method of intermodal transport can be used with one type of shipping option, and other times many types can be intertwined in the logistical plan for delivery.

Of course, the more types of delivery methods that are used the more complex a transport. Perishable products also require more planning as different methods of freight do require the safety and stability of the products to prevent damage and spoilage.

Heated and cooled vans, rail cars, cargo planes, and even cargo ships are available for goods that do need to be protected against spoilage. The switch between types of freight carriers however must be swift as products cannot be left standing for any amount of time if spoilage can occur.

Intermodal transport is not limited to commerce

With the surge of companies and residents of the USA immigrating to Canada now, many times personal belongings and office equipment may need intermodal freight services since the distances can be quite long between destinations. With this in mind, a plan can also be in place that will include storage of items if need be for an agreed-upon timeframe.

A move from the USA to Canada by businesses or individuals seeking residence in Canada is not easy to achieve without assistance. The risk of damage to possessions is high unless intermodal transport is used. Many times individuals unnecessarily sell off their existing possessions before relocation and this can be prevented by using intermodal transport and/or storage during a relocation.

While the Government of the USA does not actively track ex-pats, the figures do suggest that most ex-pats when leaving the US do so to move to Canada with approximately 40 percent choosing Canada.

Costs of intermodal transport between USA and Canada

Of course, the amount of product or goods must be factored in as well as the types of shipping and possible storage. Once again, the logistical estimation will reveal the costs as there is no real set figure. Each transport is uniquely different and there are port costs involved in intermodal transport and other fees for docking, etc.

Layovers that occur because of unforeseen circumstances can also play a large role in overall costs and these should be factored into a logistical plan with cost factoring done before any intermodal transport even begins. The most affordable approach is usually spelled out by an intermodal freight company before shipping starts and a contract is presented which does spell out the particulars involved in all costs or extra cost factors.

Intermodal transport swings both ways

While most of the intermodal transport originates in Canada, there are intermodal transport services in the USA also as many products from the USA are shipped to Canada. Individuals and companies also relocate from Canada to the USA, as Canada and the USA share several psychographic and governmental features with both countries being a type of democracy.

The standard language of both the USA and Canada is English, with French as a secondary language in Canada, and Spanish as a secondary language in the USA. Both French and Spanish are spoken relatively well in both countries in addition to English. The similarities between the two countries do make for much movement and relocation from both countries.

About 4 percent of the immigrated population of the USA are ex-pats Canadians, while billions of tons of goods are transported to Canada per year usually via rail from the USA. Many times rail and cargo vans are the first choices in USA intermodal transport to Canada since the USA is more landlocked than Canada, and air transport is much more costly than all other forms of intermodal transport.

Intermodal transport-not limited to the USA/Canada

Many intermodal freight companies from both the USA and Canada can and will accept goods from other countries and deliver them to the final destination. This, however, can be complex and very costly.  Discussion before shipping must be intense with all layovers of the freight and storage sites and equipment set up.

International freight that is intermodal beyond the North American boundaries does occur but takes more logistical planning and cooperation between the international company doing the shipping and the company in the USA or Canada.

Intermodal transport is generally successful between the USA and Canada as the countries are bound to each other geographically and businesses in both countries do foster good relationships with each other. That includes the intermodal transport companies who will work hand and hand with each other to ensure safe and secure deliveries of all types of freight.

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