Multi-Modal Transport Operations

Multi-Modal TMS

The execution of end-to-end journeys with multiple transport providers can bring benefits to all logistics consumers, particularly where transport cost is important.

For some freight movements, the use of multi-modal transport can bring very measurable cost and environmental benefits with no detriment to customer service. Logistics consumers require route optimization, just-in-time supply chain operations, a secure environment, and low cost transport. Control tower technology is an enabler to achieve shipment visibility and optimize inventory and assets in a congested environment. To provide optimum results the technology that supports a control tower must be specific to the company’s need. IntelliTrans supports the seamless completion of journeys using more than one operator. IntelliTrans’ Global Visibility Platform is designed to simplify multi-modal operations, covering the aspects of planning, execution and track and trace. Information can be sent to destination points and partner operators alike with real time updates on journey progress and the estimated time of arrival.

The use of multi-modal transport can reduce transport costs and CO2 emissions while achieving a highly predictable delivery performance. Achieving this reduced cost may involve complex planning and operational processes that can be overcome with technology that allows services to be tailored to needs. Combining different modes of transport (sea, road, rail or inland waterways) to create a journey that meets cost and time objectives can provide a real competitive advantage. Technology that allows journeys to be planned and modes of transport to be synchronized with simple operational control and paperless transactions is critical to successful utilization of multi-modal transportation.

Multi-modal transport steps are easy to state but difficult to achieve:

  • Plan to create a journey that will satisfy the delivery time required by the customer
  • Consider product characteristics, such as hazardous or temperature requirements
  • Search from a number of available options to complete end-to-end services within the journey time allowed
  • Calculate the overall journey costs and compare those with other routes
  • Calculate carbon emissions for a journey
  • Book all legs of the journey – a single point of booking with information entered only once is preferred
  • Dynamically re-plan and re-book transportation based on real-time information
    • (i.e., if a drayage move to port is going to be late, re-book the container on the next voyage)
  • Integration of information in the logistics processes to track progress and provide an ETA that can be shared as needed with parties involved

These needs can be combined with other services such as Proof of Delivery obtainment using IntelliTrans ePOD application and automated calculation of emissions at the shipment level.

See also