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Multi-modal or intermodal transportation refers to the shipping of goods from the point of origin to the point of destination using more than one transportation modes such as a combination of rail, road, waterways and airways.

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Multi-modal transportation: Chapter 3

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By Transport Corporation of India Limited JANUARY 12, 2018

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Multi-modal or intermodal transportation refers to the shipping of goods from the point of origin

to the point of destination using more than one transportation modes such as a combination of

rail, road, waterways and airways.

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the advantages of multi modal transportation

The advantages of multi-modal transportation comprise e?ciency, economies of scale, reduced

transportation costs, door-to-door delivery, reduced fuel consumption and reduced environmental

pollution due to shifting of load from road to other transportation modes. However, there are also some

challenges such as coordination among the di?erent transportation modes for seamless delivery, delay

during modal shifts, di?erent rules and regulations applicable to diverse transportation modes, single

or multiple service providers as points of contact and mismatch between the shipper expectations and

experiences.

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In this section, we discuss the current scenario of multi-modal

transportation and prospects in India.

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As mentioned earlier, in India roads and railways carry about 65% and

30% of the freight, respectively. The rest of the freight is carried by

waterways and airways. While coastal shipping and inland waterways

are constrained by infrastructural bottlenecks and not receiving due

attention, airways are normally used for the shipment of high-value,

time-sensitive and perishable goods, such as life-saving drugs.

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Also, waterways and airways have limited networks and cannot be relied upon for Point-to-point

delivery. Therefore, in India, multi-modal transportation is limited to modal shifts between roads and

railways.

Historically, roads carry branded, time sensitive FMCG and durable goods while railways are used for

shipping commodities such as coal, cement, steel, iron ore, food grains and petroleum products. Road

transportation is more efficient than railways in terms of reliable and timely door-to-door delivery.

Also, vehicles are available for loading almost in real-time depending on their supply and demand in

the transport market. Railways, on the other hand, are affected by inefficiency, unreliability, poor

service and a real-time unavailability of rakes for loading and subsequent delivery.

Moreover, as per the policy of the Ministry of Railways, passenger transportation is accorded a higher

priority over freight transportation; since passenger trains and goods trains share the same railway

tracks, the average speed of goods trains is generally low.

However, the advantages of railways over road transportation comprise a reduction in costs due to

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economies of scale and a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, thereby saving precious foreign

exchange

Table 16 shows for 15 selected routes, the transit times and costs per tonne for multi-modal

transportation involving roads and railways where the first-mile (up to 50 km) and last-mile (up to 50

km) connectivity is provided by roads and railways carry freight for the rest of the distance.in the

import of crude oil and reducing carbon emissions.

Since transit times and road freight cost data for 11 of these

15 routes are available from the survey, they have also been

listed in Table 16 to compare with multi-modal

transportation.

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TCI at the Shaping Young

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Multimodal Transportation:

Chapter 3 (Part 3)

Table 16: Comparison of multi-modal (rail + road) and road freight costs for selected routes

Multimodal Transportation:

Chapter 3 (Part 2)

Multi-modal transportation:

Chapter 3

An exclusive interview of

our MD, Transport

Corporation of India

Limited Mr. Vineet Agarwal

with Parivahan Pragati

Magazine.

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transport corporation of india limited

Transport Corporation of India Limited

Group TCI is India's leading integrated supply chain and logistics solutions provider. TCI group

with expertise developed over 5 decades has an extensive network of company owned offices,

11.5 mn. sqft of Warehousing space and a strong team of trained employees. With its

customer-centric approach, world class resources, State-of-Art technology and professional

management, the group follows strong corporate governance and is committed to value

creation for its stakeholders and social responsibilities.

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