In Poland, the intermodal transport market is not very large, although it is constantly developing. In recent years, an increase in these transports has been observed in relation to all transported loads, but their percentage is still small.
Intermodal transport is nothing more than a combination of different modes of transport during transport, without changing the loading unit. That is, during transit, at least two or more means of transport are used (truck tractor with a semi-trailer, rail) and the same load unit along the entire route, e.g. a sea container, a semi-trailer. If the goods arrive in a container, they must reach the recipient in the same form.
The advantages of intermodal transport are certainly a smaller number of accidents and damage to the transported goods and increased safety compared to road transport. What’s more, you can move a much larger and heavier amount of cargo over long distances, thus taking care of the ecology. Combining different modes of transport reduces air pollution than in the case of using only road transport. The number of containers that can be shipped or transported by rail is very large and it happens en masse in one transport process.
Multimodal transport is very similar to intermodal transport, as a minimum of two modes of transport are also used for transport, but the goods can be reloaded to another loading unit when changing the used means of transport. Although the recipient will not receive the goods in the same loading unit as sent by the supplier, the client signs one contract of carriage anyway. An important element is having the appropriate infrastructure necessary for the reloading of goods and the formation of new loading units. The main goals of multimodal transport are to reduce transport costs while minimizing the delivery time and improving the path that the product travels from the supplier to the recipient.
The above transports have many barriers to development, which largely depends on appropriate legal regulations, more terminals equipped with appropriate infrastructure, i.e. devices necessary to manipulate cargo units. It is also important to establish appropriate prices for such services that are intended to encourage the use of these forms of transport.