Betting more and more on intermodality is increasingly urgent not only to enhance the sustainability of freight transport but also to better face the challenges set in the present global competitive scenario.
For years now, logistics has been dealing with the challenge of intermodality, that is, with the opportunities offered by the combined use of different modes for freight transporting (road, sea, rail). The theme involves and requires the active commitment of 3PL operators, industries, transportation, logistics, and shipping companies, infrastructure (ports, interprets, airports, road and motorway networks), and, of course, national and supranational government institutions. This long list alone is enough to explain why, despite the numerous known advantages offered by the option (from an economic to environmental point of view), the intermodality in freight transportation remains complex. However, there would seem to be more than one good reason now to accelerate a more widespread application.
First and foremost, focus on climate change
This hotter-than-ever summer, in which temperatures have touched unexpected peaks almost everywhere, suggests that we have to face the issue without hesitation anymore. Reducing emissions and changing behaviors that threaten the natural ecosystem and contribute to global warming have to become a categorical imperative for both citizens and companies. T&L firms have called to do their own by reducing their emissions. The greater and better modal balance by intermodality, particularly favoring the less polluting rail mode, really contributes to the NetZero50 target.
Then, facing the growth of costs
Now more than ever, every choice has to be made considering all the present issues such as the increasing operating costs. On the one hand, there is no solution allowing to cancellation of the energy dependence of the different modes of transport. However, on the other hand, the optimization of the routes and the rationalization of transportation certainly support containing expenses, avoiding the unnecessary wastes given by, for example, the empty returns of heavy vehicles, traffic congestion, delays in ports, and so on. Once again: a greater and better modal balance delivers efficiency.
Last but not least: do not forget the shortages in transportation
Both truck drivers and heavy vehicles are often and often dramatically not enough to satisfy the increasing demand. The problem frightens road freight transportation in present days and – what is worse - threats to last beyond the temporary critical issues. This is even more worrying considering that rubber absorbs on average more than 60% of European total freight transport. So, intermodality can help to better overcome the transportation demand by sliding a part of it from the road to the rail or the sea. This way, the load on road freight transportation can be partially lightened.TAGS: Aeolus perspectives, Transportation, Logistics