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Are you interested in moving intermodal freight and expanding your owner operator business? Download the free DrayNow app from the App Store or Google Play store, or click the button below.

Now that you have the owner operator business set up, it’s time to figure out what kind of freight you should take, and where to find it! Lucky for you, there’s plenty of opportunity in the trucking industry.

For owner operators using semi-trucks, there’s two main types of trucking: intermodal and over-the-road. Let’s go over the differences between each one. OTR typically involves the carrier executing the long-haul of a shipment from one warehouse to another. Intermodal trucking (also known as drayage), on the other hand, deals with bringing a container from a rail yard to the warehouse and then back to the rail.

While intermodal loads sound more time consuming, you’re typically dealing with much shorter distances compared to OTR. The typical intermodal trips rarely run further than 500 miles in total, with most trips being a lot shorter. For OTR, most trips are easily going to be 500+ miles. With local trucking, you’re closer to home and there is more opportunity to pick up multiple trips in one day, as well as opportunities to street turn containers.

In terms of finding freight for your business, there are plenty of load boards and apps out there that can connect you with the power only loads you need. For intermodal freight, owner operators can use the DrayNow app to find intermodal loads in their local area. Signing up is completely free and once on the app, you will have access to an entire marketplace where you can take as many intermodal loads as you can fit into your schedule.

Here’s what is required in order to sign up:

  • A tractor unit (all DrayNow loads are power-only)
  • Active MC and DOT numbers with interstate authority
  • Active General Liability and Cargo insurance
    • $1 million general liability and $100k for cargo insurance
  • AM Best Safety Rating of A- or better

We also have an Intermodal Spot Rate Tracker that gives carriers insight into what current rates across markets are looking like. We’re looking to make intermodal as transparent as possible, and this tracker helps carriers make the best freight decisions for their operation.

As you can see, there are many choices to make when going out on your own in trucking. As an independent owner operator, you can do OTR trucking, intermodal, or a mix of both. The power is in your hands to do what’s best for the business, and the opportunities are endless. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Check out the other articles in the Becoming an Owner Operator series, including owner operators vs. independent contractors, obtaining authority & insurance, setting up the business, setting up the operation and navigating revenues & expenses.

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