Supply chains have become more sophisticated in accurately forecasting responding to customers demand. Now it is often to move for longer distances and the cost and capacity are critical points. Then rail road is coming back as a cheaper mean of transport to move big load through countries. But when we are talking about door to door deliveries the election is clear: Trucks. Where the railroad doesn’t arrive, truck is the better option, providing distribution center the goods to distribute among the cities and villages. In the case of big transportation, the maritime transport is the biggest capacity and longest distances, between continents. This is the cheapest option but its main constrain is that only can be shipped in a sea/river port.
The question is how to mix this different mean of transport in order to make easy mix them and reach lower cost and high loads. The first think is to use a standard “space” for transport: TEU. The containers are able to move by trucks, trains and vessels. This is the main reason to the trend to conglomerate distribution centers which allows the three models of transportation: Intermodal Logistic Platform.
For illustrate this concept we must to think in the Valencia sea port as example. In the Sagunto facilities of this port you can ship anything of merchandises from truck or train to vessel and vice versa. Sea ports are increasing its network connections in order to be more effectives and giving better services.
In this case I centered the example in the mix road-train-vessel, but we can abroad the concept to a logistics hub were aggregates different logistics companies, mean of transport (even air) and distribution centers, as you can see in the video of CTV and Menphis Intermodal center.