The supply chain logistics systems are the focus of HART Worldwide. We can send items from China to any country in the world. HART provides reliable logistics service from China at a low rate for intermodal shipping costs.

We’ll handle the customs procedures at the port of destination and transfer your cargo to the address you choose. You won’t have to worry about your shipment because HART has a lot of experience with shipping goods.

We stay updated on the marketplace in order to provide you with the most up-to-date market analysis. We assembled a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals to handle door to door delivery requirements, including air and sea shipping from China.

HART’s in-house logistics system tracks all intermodal shipments, including express shipping. As a result, your shipping will run smoothly and without risk.

As a result, we can provide a cost-effective cargo shipping service from China. HART is always willing to keep your shipping time from China as simple as possible. Simply enter your delivery address and sit tight till your item is delivered.

Our Other Services Besides Intermodal Shipping From China


Air Freight

HART can deliver your goods on schedule via air freight. We provide the best customs clearance services at all major airports at a reasonable price.


FCL Shipping

HART provides the most cost-effective FCL container services from China. If you’re seeking the best shipping by FCL, HART offers you well-protected transportation and fewer chances of damage.


LCL Shipping

We provide excellent LCL shipping to protect your goods. We specialize in LCL consolidation services that are dependable, quick, and direct.


Door to Door Shipping

HART has extensive experience processing door-to-door delivery processes from China. HART can carry your goods in a secure, timely, and cost-effective manner.


Express Services

We use international expressers such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, and TNT to ship your things from China. We utilize their services to deliver your items to you as quickly as possible.


Customs Clearance

We’ve put together a skilled and professional staff to keep an eye on customs policies so that your delivery goes as smoothly as possible for our consumer satisfaction.



HART focuses on warehousing and storage so that our clients can obtain them at a reduced cost. To guarantee damage-free shipping, we take extra care of storing.


Pickup & Delivery

The pickup and delivery product can be suitable for you if you choose the door to door shipping method.  Let us know from where we will pick up and release the goods.



HART is the greatest option if you’re selling on Amazon and need a reputable FBA shipping service to ship your goods from China.

Why Choose Hart for Your Intermodal Shipping?


We focus on the marketplaces in order to keep communication with clients in order to provide transportation from China. In order to provide cost-effective delivery companies, we also focus on standardized delivery regulations.

Cheap Shipping Rate

We made an important agreement with major operators and shipping companies. This partnership allows us to obtain savings, allowing us to supply you with low-cost shipping from China.


HART built standardized solutions related and intermodal division with the support of our customer response team to ensure that we can respond quickly and give you the best and highest quality of service available.


Our software development team created a specific technology platform to ensure that the overall process takes place completely digitally even without the usage of paper. We can also observe and trace the shipping using this software.

Full Self-control

HART is a self-contained shipping service connecting China. All nodes for shipping operations are primarily managed by us. We built a professional staff to analyze each HART branch using in-house technologies.

Custom Clearance Service

Our professional customs department manages customs clearance operations on all available boundaries. We also keep in close contact with a different customs broker to ensure the delivery of a smooth product.

Wide Coverage

We have a massive support structure that covers numerous branches or warehouses. We developed warehouses in Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Africa, especially Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

Highly Trained Team

Training is necessary for a team to become skilled. As a result, we make training courses a priority in order to improve the abilities of our employees. Quick review and feedback to ensure that they are able to provide amazing service.


We require our staff to have professional understanding and skills in their roles and responsibilities as professionalism contributes to success. Always provide correct info and the greatest guidance when it comes to your intermodal shipping methods.


Qualifications and Honor for 20ft Container Shipping


Business Form for International Freight Forwarders

This certificate, which the Ministry of Commerce certifies for all global logistics providers in China, is needed under the People’s Republic of China’s Foreign Trade Laws and Regulations on the Administration of International Cargo Transport Agencies. To keep their international freight forwarding company running, everyone must obtain this certificate.


NVOCC Business Operation Qualification Registration Certificate

Because of the significant value of the NVOCC accreditation in this market, it is required for all international transportation forwarders. It is certified with China’s Ministry of Transportation. NVOCC enhances the number of shipping options available and can also supply bills of lading. It makes it easier to keep track of the merchandise.


ISO9001 2015 Quality Management System Certificate

This certification is necessary to provide consumers with a better experience, especially effective communication with shipping companies in the case of a misunderstanding. It ensures high-quality service and recognizes an international shipping company’s high-level demand processing capacity. This certified system governs our connections and working methods.


Certificate of Membership for WCA

The World Cargo Transportation Alliance (WCA) aims to bring all worldwide shipping companies together. It connects them in a massive network. As a WCA member, we have financial protection in the industry, which indicates how to implement shipping business techniques with other WCA members.


Certificate of Membership for CIFA

The China International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFA), works with China’s Ministry of Commerce to assist transport companies. As a result, the purpose of this international media network is to strengthen the industry and maintain it self-disciplined. It helps in the coordination of the transportation management solution and the establishment of a competitive base commercial arena.


Member Unit for SIFFA

The Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau has authorized SIFFA as a social organization with legal assistance. SIFFA’s goal is to assist, protect, and coordinate worldwide freight processing professional members in order to exchange knowledge, build relationships, facilitate collaboration, and achieve member objectives.

Intermodal Shipping | The Ultimate FAQ Guide


Freight transport by rail and truck in combination is referred to as intermodal freight transport.

Through intermodal shipping, freight may be picked up and carried in a dry van or container and then sent in that trailer or container on a rail car.

Long-distance freight shipments frequently make use of intermodal shipping, which is a more affordable option.

Shipping times can, however, take a bit longer than normal.

This FAQ guide will aid you in understanding all the necessary queries on intermodal shipping.

Table of Contents

  1. What Does Intermodal Shipping Mean?
  2. What Is The Packaging Process In Intermodal Shipping?
  3. Which Transportation Mode Is Common To Most Forms Of Intermodal Shipping?
  4. What Is The Difference Between Drayage And Intermodal Shipping?
  5. What Are The Advantages Of An Intermodal Train?
  6. How Does The Freight Intermodal Train Work?
  7. What Are The  Disadvantages Of Using Intermodal Shipping?
  8. What Are The Most Pressing Issues In The Freight Intermodal Market?
  9. What To Check Out Before Picking Intermodal Shipping?
  10. What Is The Documentation Process In Freight Intermodal?
  11. What Are The Differences Between Intermodal Transport And Multimodal Shipping?
  12. When To Choose An Intermodal Transport Service?
  13. How Does An Intermodal Train Work?
  14. What Is The Glossary Of Terms Of Intermodal Shipping?
  15. What Is The Maximum Weight That May Be Shipped Using Intermodal?
  16. Does Intermodal Shipping Allow You To Transport Anything?
  17. What Are The Types Of Intermodal Shipping Providers?

1. What Does Intermodal Shipping Mean?

The word “intermodal shipping” refers to the contractual agreements, not the mode of transportation.

Door-to-door intermodal and multimodal freight shipments account for the vast majority of international freight deliveries.

Even though they appear to be means of transportation, they are essentially combinations of other modes.

Shipments may simply be moved from one mode of transportation to another utilizing shipping containers.

Although rail or barge options may potentially be employed, collection and drop-off is often done by road.

The primary form of transportation is either by sea shipping or air freight.

Freight Intermodal
Freight Intermodal

When a shipper uses freight intermodal, they contract with various freight forwarders for separate shipments.

In order to save money on shipping, this practice is common, although it typically comes at the cost of a lengthier delivery time.

The disadvantage is that it necessitates more paperwork and requires the shipper to devote more time and attention to the cargo.

Watch this clip –

2. What Is The Packaging Process In Intermodal Shipping?

Intermodal train transportation relies on proper packaging, just like any other type of freight cargo.

With Intermodal shipping, containers are transported rather than pallets, unlike LTL shipping in which pallets are loaded and unloaded from vehicles.

This is accomplished by the use of heavy machinery, such as cranes, and as a result, dunnage and suppressing materials are critical.

The most important thing is to keep Intermodal train freight movement to a minimum within the container.

Only pallets and crates can be used for Intermodal train freight, which must be securely attached in containers or dry-vans.

3. Which Transportation Mode Is Common To Most Forms Of Intermodal Shipping?

When commodities are transported from shipper to receiver through truck and rail, this is known as intermodal transportation.

There are several ways to transport a container from truck to rail and back again in the intermodal process.

4. What Is The Difference Between Drayage And Intermodal Shipping?

Transporting goods across long distances by sea, train, and truck is called intermodal, as opposed to using only one method.

Cargo drayage is the transportation of goods by truck for a short distance or as part of a larger journey, as the case may be.

It’s also common for drayage to be part of a larger intermodal cargo.

Freight Intermodal via Ocean
Freight Intermodal via Ocean

Therefore, drayage is usually always included in an intermodal cargo at some stage in the process of transport.

5. What Are The Advantages Of An Intermodal Train?

Intermodal train cargo can be transported via several modes of transportation from sender to receiver –

Without any management of the cargo itself during the transitions between modes of transportation.

When items are transported from one form of shipping to another without needing to be repacked, this method is used.

With this strategy, companies may get their goods from point A to point B in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Some typical combinations are trucking and rail intermodal.

More Efficient Form of Transportation

Rail intermodal is more efficient than vehicles in transporting huge loads because trains can carry more freight than a single truck.

The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions may be achieved by transporting commodities by freight Intermodal train.

And also has the capability to reduce environmental contamination.

The schedule flexibility of Intermodal trains is less than that of vehicles, hence they cannot be utilized for “door-to-door” delivery.

There are several advantages to using intermodal transportation, which combines the advantages of both rail and vehicle transport.

More Flexible Way of Shipping

Flexible delivery options are only one of the perks of employing this kind of transportation.

Cars, manufactured items, raw materials, and more may all be transported using this method.

Food and liquids that need to be kept fresh can be shipped in “reefers,” which are refrigerated containers.

More Secured

Additionally, there’s a greater sense of safety.

Mostly at the origin, customs, and ultimate destination are shipping containers opened, so shippers have no idea what’s inside.

The containers used in intermodal transportation are very resistant to adverse weather conditions, which reduces the chance of damage to the cargo.

As a result, losses and spoilage, particularly for imported goods, are greatly minimized.

6. How Does The Freight Intermodal Train Work?

There are three independent carriers involved in intermodal transportation, unlike full truckload transportation.

In which one carrier carries a cargo from origin to destination.

In an Intermodal Shipment, there are three main components:

Road: This is the beginning of the series.

Empty containers are picked up at the origin rail ramp by a specialist intermodal driver known as a drayman or drayage carrier.

The drayman returns the container to the train ramp once it has been loaded at the shipper.

Rail: Part two of the story.

Rail intermodal containers from one rail ramp to another, transporting them from point A to point B.

Road: The third part.

The container is picked up from the ramp by the destination drayage carrier, who then transports the consignment to its final destination.

Rail Intermodal
Rail Intermodal

Watch this for more –

7. What Are The  Disadvantages Of Using Intermodal Shipping?

There are, however, a number of downsides to this mode of delivery.

The additional security may not be appropriate for all sorts of items.

If the delivery of a product is time-critical, it may be necessary to use a different delivery method than what the railways can provide.

Freight trains may not be able to give a smooth ride for things that are particularly sensitive to shocks.

Ports’ inability to accommodate a significant number of intermodal shipments is another drawback.

In addition, the specialized equipment needed to transport the containers is highly costly to purchase.

As a result, smaller ports are unable to engage successfully in the trade.

Additionally, the containers’ secrecy makes them desirable to individuals engaged in the smuggling of illegal immigrants, guns, and drugs.

However, major shipping hubs are gradually implementing new electronic scanning technology to remotely check the inside of containers.

8. What Are The Most Pressing Issues In The Freight Intermodal Market?

Based upon the variety of forms of transportation involved, intermodal freight shipping can be expensive.

There are certain downsides to intermodal transportation services.

Such as the high expenses that are connected with transferring freight across many forms of transport.

Due to poor coordination and equipment inactive time, transportation expenses will go up.

Similarly, transporting equipment that isn’t being used adds to the expense.

9. What To Check Out Before Picking Intermodal Shipping?

When, then, what to check out when choosing intermodal shipping?

  • Your things aren’t going to weigh more than 25 tons.
  • An indeterminate value is assigned to the shipment.
  • Long-distance travel is involved
  • It’s a constant flow of goods to the same location.
  • Intermodal transportation is the way to go if you want to reduce your carbon impact.

10. What Is The Documentation Process In Freight Intermodal?

The Bill of Lading is the most crucial document (BOL).

On a Bill of Lading (BOL), you’ll see the names of the parties involved in the shipment.

It also includes details on the sort of items being delivered and their weight.

There is just one agreement and one Bill of Lading for a multimodal delivery.

This paper was issued by the multimodal transport operator (MTO).

The term “bill of lading” used in this context is “multimodal” or “combined transport.”

You have numerous Bills of Lading in an intermodal delivery, one for each transportation.

11. What Are The Differences Between Intermodal Transport And Multimodal Shipping?

Choosing multimodal transportation implies that just one carrier will be responsible for the whole trip of your goods.

A Merged Bill of Exchange or a Multimodal Bill of Lading is issued by the contractual carrier.

Shipping times, inventory expenses, and freight costs are all reduced via intermodal and multimodal transport.

Most shippers choose multimodal transportation, however, since it offers them a more timely and cost-effective shipping option.

It’s simpler to handle multimodal freight because it’s all under one contract.

Intermodal Transportation

Multimodal Transportation

A separate bill of lading is issued by each of the several carriers involved in the transaction. For each exchange, there are also more papers. Regardless of the number of means of transportation, a single contract with one carrier is used to convey cargo.
Each company’s shipping manager has the freedom to choose the optimum pricing for each contract. For the duration of the travel, the management must agree to a defined charge.
Shippers are held accountable for the goods they ship. The package is in the hands of the carrier.
Ecologically responsible carriers allow shippers to lower their carbon impact. Convenient access to the world’s most isolated regions.
A single transportation unit is used for the whole voyage. Utilizes a variety of components in various formats.

Watch this for more –

12. When To Choose An Intermodal Transport Service?

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for determining which lanes are most suited for the rail.

Here are the factors include for when to choose intermodal shipping:

  • Length of all lanes
  • The accessibility of rail ramps at the point of departure and arrival
  • Current pricing for truckloads
  • Routing of rail services
  • Shipper’s underlying shipping needs

The assistance of a professional intermodal supplier is the greatest approach to maximize your network and uncover every possible conversion opportunity.

They’ll make intermodal transportation as easy as truckload shipping, and they’ll make it as simple as possible.

Most lanes over 700 miles long that can be shipped in a 53-foot dry van are candidates for intermodal conversion.

Even routes with a distance of 500 miles or less may be feasible.

Raid Intermodal Choosing Guide
Raid Intermodal Choosing Guide

13. How Does An Intermodal Train Work?

Intermodal trains operate on fixed timetables.

In busy corridors, certain lanes have many trains running every day, while others only have a few trains per week.

There is a “gate-cut” time for every train.

Drivers who want their containers to be on the departure train must arrive at the intermodal facility’s gate before the cut-off time.

The container will be placed on the following train if the driver is late.

As if you were heading to the airport, this would be your experience.

Freight Rail Intermodal
Freight Rail Intermodal

You can count on your plane leaving on time, even if your flight is scheduled to depart at a specific time.

Even if you get to the entrance two hours before the scheduled departure time, the bus won’t wait for you.

You can find all of the intermodal timetables on the railways’ websites, but your intermodal supplier will be the one to understand and arrange for you.

Here’s an example of a Chicago-to-New Jersey timetable for the Norfolk Southern.

Follow The Freight Rail Intermodal Schedule Strictly
Follow The Freight Rail Intermodal Schedule Strictly

14. What Is The Glossary Of Terms Of Intermodal Shipping?

This form of transportation has its own lingo and terminology.

For your convenience, we’ve included a short dictionary of relevant words and phrases.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it will get you started on the path to intermodal proficiency.

Blocks And Braces

Pallets can move during intermodal shipping because of the moderate shocks from hundreds of kilometres of train rails and the lifting of containers with cranes.

For intermodal shipping, shippers will utilize a variety of measures, such as blocking and bracing, to keep the pallets in place.

Freight Intermodal Process
Freight Intermodal Process


This is the substance in which the freight is transported.

The length of a container can range from 20 feet to 40 feet to 45 feet or 53 feet.

With the latter being the most frequent for rail intermodal transportation, while the former three are more typical for international ocean shipping.

Stackable and constructed of steel, they feature corrugated sides and can be stacked.

Number of Containers

This is the unique identification that is painted on the outside of each individual container.

In all cases, the container’s owner’s four-letter abbreviation is followed by a six-digit serial number.

Containerized Cargo

When goods are put into intermodal shipping containers, we use this general word.


The trucking component of an intermodal cargo, is responsible for transporting the freight from the shipper to the rail at origin –

And from the rail to the receiver at destination.

Drying is the practice of a driver with only one vehicle connecting to a chassis and container and driving it a fair distance (usually under 100 miles).

The intermodal terminal or a port is nearly always the starting point or ending point of a drayage transport (sea freight or air).

Dry Run

In the intermodal world, this is the equivalent of a canceled truck order (TONU).

Draymen arrive at shippers and receivers and are unable to lift or discharge because of factors beyond their control.

That’s what is dry run.

“In-gate” and “Out-gate”

Draymen are time-stamped as they enter and exit the rail facility’s in- and out-gates, respectively (out-gate).

This makes it easier to keep track of things.

Agreement on Interchange

Intermodal equipment can be picked up and dropped off at the designated railroad location under this arrangement between the railroad and the drayage operator.


When the train reaches its final location, the railroad will unload the container and place it on a chassis.

An intermodal provider is alerted by rail that the loaded cargo has been mounted on a platform and is suitable for the intended delivery.


A daily penalty termed as demurrage is imposed when a cargo is not on the train.

If the intermodal provider covers this cost or incorporates it into their total pricing, importers may not be conscious of it.

However, you must be aware of the per-diem schedule of your intermodal service provider.


The intermodal provider sends the railroad electronic information on what’s in a container, where it’s headed, and who will be picking it up.

Interchange of Trains

Your product will have to traverse two railways in order to ship vast distances.

An interchange is a name given to this transition.

Steel-wheel interchanges and rubber-wheel interchanges are available.

The railways take care of this for both shippers and intermodal suppliers.


Ramp is a frequent name for an intermodal terminal.

15. What Is The Maximum Weight That is May Be Shipped Using Intermodal?

Intermodal Shipping has a weight restriction of 42,500 pounds due to the fact that full containers must be transported from wheel to rail and back again.

Any shipment that exceeds this weight limit will have to be broken up into separate containers.

To transport numerous containers as part of a single cargo, you must notify your freight broker in advance.

16. Does Intermodal Shipping Allow You To Transport Anything?

Unsurprisingly, the types of goods that may be transported using Intermodal are severely restricted.

Items like –

  • Fruit and vegetables,
  • Leafy greens,
  • Fish, and
  • Over-length or over-dimensional objects cannot be shipped via Intermodal Shipping.
  • Other common items that cannot be shipped via Intermodal Shipping include:
  • Rechargeable battery and hazardous materials
  • Refrigerated food and nicotine merchandise cannot be shipped via Intermodal Shipping.

17. What Are The Types Of Intermodal Shipping Providers?

Shippers cannot deliver intermodal freight to the railways directly; it must be delivered via other means.

Instead, you’ll need to work with an intermodal company supplier.

Various types of carriers each have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Many companies use both types of shipping based on their supply chain, and each shipper will have to decide which is best for them.

Understanding the various business models adopted by different service providers is crucial in order to properly comprehend the complexities of intermodal pricing.

These are the most common types of intermodal carriers:

Types of Freight Intermodal Service Provider
Types of Freight Intermodal Service Provider

International Marketing Companies

Carriers having agreements with Class I railroads are third-party logistics, sometimes known as international marketing companies .

international marketing companies have a common pool of over 1 lac containers.

Access to a wider network of drayage providers is another benefit of working with the railroads.

All types of shipments, including truckload, LTL, and intermodal, may be accommodated.

A disadvantage of international marketing companies is that they must rely on railways for their equipment and prices.

Asset-Based Carriers

Intermodal containers and a drayage service that they typically manage themselves are part of their network.

Advantages: Total command of the budget and the tools at one’s disposal.

One disadvantage is that they cannot cover all lanes and want to avoid some lanes.

Because of the influence on the network balance that their assets have when they are not physically present.

Assets Lite

Some of these carriers have their own intermodal assets, which they can use from the railways’ equipment pool.

The pros are able to provide the best of both worlds.


When it comes to shipping, most freight brokers don’t qualify as international marketing companies.

As a result, they must utilize asset carriers and intermodal marketing companies to convey their intermodal cargo.

If a shipper is already working with a truckload reseller, they don’t need to add another vendor.

  • Inability to acquire committed rail prices,
  • Inability to obtain their own apparatus,
  • Limited control over drayage processes, and
  • Less transparency to goods in transit are some of the drawbacks of using drayage.

Final Words

Intermodal freight transit will likely carry more cargo in the future, according to our predictions.

In addition to the automotive and FMCG industries, intermodal freight transit is expected to gain traction in other sectors as well.

Getting a flexible supply chain and providing dependable services are still going to be difficult for transportation businesses.

If you need any help with your Intermodal shipping, do contact HART Worldwide Logistics.

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