What Should You Be Asking About Intermodal Trucking Companies Before Signing A Contract?
If you have a great deal of inventory to ship out to the opposite side of the country, you may not know where to begin. An intermodal trucking company, also called an intermodal transportation company, utilizes trains and ships in addition to trucks to ensure your products are delivered, no matter where they are. However, you're going to have to ask these questions during your consultations with various companies so you feel confident that they will be a solid partner for you.
What Factors Are Considered When Designing a Transportation Plan?
Because different transportation methods are used, it's smart to discover how each intermodal transportation company decides which method they'll use for your shipments. For example, a shipment could travel on trains for most of a journey just because of when it needs to arrive. There could also be a situation where the trains don't run regularly enough in a particular area, making truck transit a necessity.
Being able to coordinate all different kinds of travel so that your shipments arrive in a timely way is what intermodal transportation companies do, but knowing more about how a particular company makes its choices can help you understand whether they'd be a suitable fit for your needs. You may prefer that they focus on cost rather than speed, for instance.
Who Handles Permits?
Once your shipments leave the state, there may be additional permits required for every state they go through, depending on what your items are. This can mean a lot of paperwork, so you need to know who will be responsible for working on those documents. Some intermodal companies will handle the permits on your behalf, but you need to ask to ensure that the documents will be secured so you don't end up having to pay violation fees in the future.
How Is Tracking Done?
Knowing your shipments are somewhere in the country but having no further information can be nerve-wracking, especially if a customer of yours calls to ask where their shipment is. Before signing an agreement, you need to discover how a intermodal transportation company tracks shipments. Can you call a truck driver personally, for instance? Is GPS tracking used? Will there be check-in points so you know when a train has left with your items? Finding out this information not only sets your mind at ease, but it also allows you to effectively communicate with your own buyers.
Intermodal transportation companies offer a chance to get your products anywhere using different transportation methods. Use the questions here to get useful answers that allow you to ensure you're choosing a good business partner for your shipments.