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Trucks are a necessity in moving freight where it needs to go. However, trucks have a significant carbon footprint and emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). But what would we do without trucks? No matter what, a truck will be needed at some point in every type of freight move, whether it’s by rail, air, ship etc. A lot of the time, trucks are actually used as the primary method of moving freight, with a driver going thousands of miles on an over-the-road trip.

Out of all of these transit methods, intermodal rail transportation is the most environmentally friendly and only uses trucks for the first and last miles of the freight move. This movement of freight from the rail by truck is known as intermodal drayage. Once off the rail, intermodal drayage loads typically go no further than 250 miles to get delivered via truck, with most of the moves being only around 50-100 miles. For freight that’s traveling thousands of miles across the country, that means most of the journey is done over the more efficient railways.

Just how much more efficient is intermodal compared to other forms of transportation, like long haul trucking?


According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), rail freight has 75% less greenhouse gas emissions than freight moved by truck. Over the rail, one ton of freight can also move more than 480 miles on one gallon of fuel. Thinking about all of the tons of freight that move over the rail, that is a lot of fuel savings that translates to much fewer carbon emissions. In 2022, total domestic intermodal volume was over 17 million container moves, meaning that there is a vast amount of opportunity to lower the carbon emissions of freight.

How can DrayNow help you tackle the green advantage of intermodal advantage?


We provide drayage service across the country that will move intermodal freight on and off the rails. Truck drivers can stay local and drive less mileage by picking up intermodal drayage loads from the DrayNow app. In helping to reduce truck mileage even further, our technology provides street turn opportunities which assist in maximizing intermodal container utilization. This helps truck drivers make less stops and therefore drive even less miles. The connectivity of DrayNow service and technology makes intermodal drayage efficient on top of being environmentally friendly.

The fact of the matter is that utilizing the rails for a majority of the freight’s journey across the country will produce much fewer carbon emissions than if it were to go over-the-road. Keeping trucking local through intermodal drayage helps keep freight more sustainable through fewer truck miles on every move.

If you’re looking to learn more about intermodal drayage, feel free to check out the rest of our blog! If you’d like to get set up with DrayNow, please get in touch with us via the form below.


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