International multimodal transportation: definition and role


Large import-export businesses worldwide often utilize multimodal transportation due to its numerous advantages and significant benefits. So, what is multimodal transportation? What are its advantages, and how does it contribute to logistics? Let's delve into the details together with ALS!

I. What is Multimodal Transportation?

Multimodal transportation refers to the transportation of goods using multiple modes of transport.

Additionally, only one provider is typically responsible for the goods and destination. Part of international transportation is multimodal and includes railways, roads, sea routes, airways, etc.

Multimodal transportation is commonly used in large-scale or long-distance freight transport systems. When using a single mode of transportation does not meet the requirements for speed, load capacity, or access to specific areas. By combining multiple modes of transportation, multimodal transportation helps optimize the transportation process and reduce time, costs, and risks.

Primarily, Pick-Up and Drop-Off are by road and, in some cases, by rail, while the main modes of transportation include sea routes or airways. Goods in multimodal transportation are more accessible to track and trace during transportation.

II. What are the characteristics of multimodal transport?

  • Utilization of at least two different modes of transportation, such as road, rail, sea, air, etc.
  • Ensuring continuous transportation of goods from the point of origin to the final destination.
  • Protecting cargo during the transition between transportation modes, ensuring safety throughout the process.
  • Minimizing documentation procedures and cost management, simplifying and streamlining the transportation process.
  • Cost reduction, time savings, and efficiency enhancement.
  • Enhanced ease of cargo tracking.
  • Utilization of a single contract to monitor the entire transportation process.

III. What is the role of multimodal transport?

Firstly, multimodal transport plays a crucial role in supporting economic development by creating transportation links across various industries, from manufacturing to distribution and consumption. This fosters job creation and stimulates overall economic activity within a country or region.

Secondly, multimodal transport enhances businesses' competitiveness in terms of both cost and quality by optimizing transportation processes and minimizing expenses.

Thirdly, multimodal transport enables the transportation of large volumes of goods through the combination of multiple modes of transportation. This expands the transportation network and meets the demands of large-scale cargo transportation, especially during business expansion and market penetration.

Fourthly, multimodal transport allows businesses to access markets more quickly. By leveraging efficient transportation networks, companies can rapidly reach domestic and international customers, promoting economic and global trade development and expanding business opportunities.

IV. Popular Multimodal Transport Models

  • Rail-sea transport
  • Road and air transport
  • Road and sea transport
  • Road-rail transport
  • Road-rail-sea transport
  • Road-rail-air transport
  • Road-rail-sea transport

For Example, about Road and air transport

Suppose you must transport many goods to a different location on land and in two different countries.

This may mean that to transport your goods, you need to contact a road transport company to deliver your cargo by road to the Noi Bai International Airport cargo terminal. Once the cargo is delivered to the cargo terminal, it will be transported by airplane to another national airport.

The cargo will be transported by truck from the airport to your final destination to complete the journey.

By using multimodal transport, each cargo route is handled by a different company. This means you would need multiple contracts with each carrier to handle specific cargo routes.

For example, about Sea Transport - Road Transport

Multimodal transport can transport goods between Hanoi and Shanghai. After the goods are packaged, their designated transport company picks up the cargo in Hanoi. Then, the cargo is transported to the seaport. Subsequently, the cargo moves to Shanghai.

After transporting to Shanghai by seaway, cargo will be handled by a transportation company operating under the authority of the road transport carrier to reach the final destination.

Read more: ALS collaborates to develop integrated multimodal transport services.

After reading this article, ALS hopes you might have a general look at multimodal transport with our sharing. At the same time, you have grasped its advantages and popular models. From there, customers can consider finding the most suitable transportation solution.

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