What is the difference between Transloading & Intermodal Shipping

If you are a little familiar with logistics, then you must have heard about transloading and intermodal shipping. Both of them offer shippers a huge amount of versatility in freight transportation. Intermodal shipping and transloading help you through end-to-end loading solutions.

If you want affordable transloading services for your business expansion, then you can try reaching out to DT Lines. They provide the Best Transloading Services in Seattle.

In this blog, you will find out the major difference between transloading and intermodal freight shipping.

What is Transloading?

Transloading is a process where a shipment is moved through multiple modes of transportation in the overall journey. The goods can be taken from ship to truck, truck to train or vice versa. It also has warehouses in between the journey where the load is kept according to its type. The main aim of transloading is to give the most effective and affordable transportation.

What is Intermodal Transportation? 

Intermodal transportation is a mode where two or more carriers are used to transport freight from shipper to receiver. It is mostly used when a shipper wants to maintain a balance between cost and service.

The general route for intermodal freight transportation is rail, truck, ship, and truck.

Here is how Intermodal shipping works:

  • First, the products are loaded in a container.
  • Then the container is placed on the truck.
  • Next, the truck hauls the container to an intermodal ramp
  • When it reaches the intermodal ramp, the container is lifted off and then placed on a flat to the train.
  • Lastly, the container is then moved back to a truck for final delivery.


  • Is Transloading a boon or a bane?

Advantages of Transloading :

Cost-effective: Transloading helps in reducing transportation costs as the freight is moved by different and more efficient means.

It saves time: With transloading, you save a lot of time as the complex challenges are solved.

It makes your shipping more flexible: When you go for transloading you can reach multiple destinations within one shipment.

Drawbacks of Transloading

The major disadvantage of transloading is that in transloading, there are multiple means of transport. This can cause loss of the products. But this can be handled if you go for logistics companies that provide insurance for product damage.

Key difference between intermodal freight shipping and transloading

The main difference between transloading and intermodal shipping is the way the product moves. In transloading, the goods are unloaded from one mode of transportation and loaded into another using different containers. Whereas, in intermodal shipping, the container remains the same for the entire route and only the means of transportation is changed.

Which one suits you better, Transloading or Intermodal Shipping?  

Both transloading and intermodal shipping have their pros and cons. The comparison is not to tell you which one is better but which one suits your business needs. For example, if you have products like oil and gas, that are transferred throughout one container then intermodal shipping is prefered. Otherwise, transloading is used most of the time for cost-effective and efficient shipment.

If transloading suits your business needs and you are looking for a transloading firm, then you can contact DT Lines. They will give you the best transloading services in Seattle.

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