Today's Intermodal 02




The forward looking supply chain leader balances the needs of today with managing the risks of tomorrow. From inclement weather, labor disputes and trucking regulations, to changing consumer trends, capacity crunches and rising costs, there are many examples of disruptions that can adversely impact a supply chain.

Intermodal transportation is a critical component of a resilient, diversified transportation network. Including intermodal rail into a supply chain provides additional sources of capacity, allowing an organization to adapt to change, minimize disruption, and lower costs.


Incorporating intermodal rail into your freight network provides access to capacity that can flex based on market stimuli. This helps to lessen the impact of increasing truckload challenges.     


The use of intermodal shipping reduces transportation costs, provides access to capacity, improves product flows and ultimately, improves your bottom line. On average, transportation comprises 66% of a shipper’s total logistics costs. Optimizing your freight network by substituting intermodal rail on moves over 500 miles can result in cost savings of at least 15%. 


Moving freight by rail is the most fuel efficient form of land transport. A single double-stacked train can move the equivalent of 280 trucks, resulting in both cost and carbon savings. Brands with a demonstrated commitment to 
environmental sustainability have grown more than 4% globally, while those without grew less than 1%.  


Shippers can access the value of intermodal rail by engaging our business partners, companies that comprise of major trucking companies, intermodal marketing companies and 3PLs. Together, CSXT and its business partners provide in-depth industry insight and comprehensive transportation solutions to help you avoid supply chain disruption and navigate the perils of volatility.




Intermodal shipping is the use of two or more modes of transportation in the shipment of freight. Goods are transported through a mix of truck, rail and/or container ships allowing shippers to leverage the strength of each mode in order to improve efficiencies and mitigate risk. Intermodal plays to the strengths of each mode of transportation, capitalizing on the efficiency of rail to complete the long-haul portion of a move, while trucks complete the first and last mile portions. 


If you are currently moving over-the-road freight 500 miles or more, you likely have intermodal conversion opportunities that will be of value to your company. In fact, 96% of shippers are not deploying or are under-utilizing intermodal, adding unnecessary cost and capacity exposure to their logistics.


Intermodal rail moves millions of truckloads of products that consumers and businesses use every day. Inputs such as car parts as well as finished goods such as electronics, household appliances, groceries, alcoholic beverages and retail items, such as clothing, toys and furniture, all move via intermodal rail.







Intermodal rail allows shippers to capitalize on the efficiency of rail to complete the long-haul portion of a move, with trucks completing the first and last mile portions. However, not all moves are a good fit for intermodal rail. Identifying the highway freight that would benefit from converting to intermodal rail can prove time-consuming and challenging. If you are unfamiliar with intermodal it can be tough to know where to start, even if you’re a seasoned expert, you may still be missing out on additional opportunities. Ongoing market expansion and service improvements present new opportunities to evaluate existing freight for intermodal.  

CSXT Intermodal’s proprietary freight analysis tool, the H2R Optimizer, analyzes your freight network to identify sub-optimized freight moves that would benefit from highway to intermodal rail conversion.

Several factors determine whether a move would benefit from highway-to-intermodal rail conversion. The H2R Optimizer is able to analyze your full truckload moves taking into consideration total length of haul, proximity to an intermodal terminal and transit time to highlight opportunities for cost savings.

To perform the analysis, all that is required are the origin and destination zip codes as well as the volume of your current over-the-road freight moves.

Request your Highway to Rail (H2R) freight analysis today.




We make it easy for you to map individual freight shipments to discover whether a move would be a good fit for intermodal rail with our Build-a-Shipment tool. Use the map to explore the CSXT Intermodal network, create a custom shipment to identify truck freight with an intermodal alternative and calculate potential carbon savings.

The CSXT Intermodal network’s expansive market reach provides comprehensive intermodal rail connectivity to nearly every market in the Eastern U.S. and Canada. The efficiencies of intermodal rail are achievable on freight moves with lengths of haul as short as 500 miles. Follow the directions below to uncover the freight in your network that could benefit from highway-to-rail conversion.

How to Build a Shipment
1. Visit
2. Click Build-a-Shipment
3. Enter shipment origin/destination, weight and units to find out of the lane is a good fit for intermodal




CSXT Intermodal works collaboratively with over 500 transportation providers, or “channel partners." If you have a current relationship with a transportation company, the chance is good we already work with them. If you don’t, we can provide a list of companies and contacts that can connect your company with ours, and begin the process of doing business with CSXT Intermodal.

Working through channel partners, CSXT Intermodal moves a variety of equipment including rail asset, (rail-owned containers) and private asset (channel partner-owned) containers. Below are some types of equipment we move, including both domestic (53’) and international (20’, 40’) equipment.


  • 53-foot, network-based intermodal containers
  • Expanded access to markets across North America through
    connections with the Union Pacific
  • Fleet of more than 40,000 containers
  • Ramp-to-ramp and door-to-door service


  • 53-foot, network-based containers
  • Expanded access to markets across North America through
    connections with the BNSF
  • Door-to-door service


  • 53-foot privately owned containers
  • Includes both refrigerated (reefer) and dry containers
  • Access to CSXT domestic network
  • Connectivity to all major railroads


  • 20' and 40' privately owned containers
  • Access to CSXT international network
  • Connectivity to all major railroads
  • CSXT serves all major Eastern ports either on-dock or near-dock



  • Includes both refrigerated (reefer) and dry trailers
  • Access to Trailer on Flat Car (TOFC) network
  • Connectivity to all major railroads




Properly secured freight ensures the safety of your lading, and our trains and personnel. Experts from CSX’s Load Engineering team work closely with shippers to develop correct blocking and bracing procedures.

CSXT Intermodal’s LEADS program (Load Engineering and Design Services), comprised of a team of engineering experts, offers free blocking and bracing consulting. Using a variety of equipment and resources, CSXT Intermodal’s LEADS experts will create a customized solution that meets your shipping needs.



Explore the Intermodal Network Map and Build a Shipment

Understand the Intermodal Advantage


New to intermodal?

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To track shipments, check schedules, submit freight claims, view waybills and more, tap here.


To contact an intermodal representative who can help you discover the value of intermodal rail,
tap here.