There are opportunities to reduce freight-related emissions in intermodal, according to a new report from the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). The study team that worked on “Intermodal & Drayage: An Opportunity To Reduce Freight Emissions” identified three key ways intermodal shipping could become a cleaner mode of transportation.
- Shift more market share from regional and long-haul trucking to intermodal rail;
- Replace traditional diesel drayage tractors with zero-emission and near-zero-emission tractors;
- Replace traditional diesel terminal tractors with zero-emission and near-zero emission tractors.
The report explains the intermodal freight system including the complications of various container sizes by the different shipping modes, NACFE said. It also looks at the history of trains and trucks including rail’s love-hate relationship with trucking.
The report concludes by saying that rail and trucking are intertwined freight segments that compete and complement each other and that intermodal rail combined with zero-emission drayage vehicles are capable in combination of reducing freight emissions versus traditional diesel long-haul trucking on specific shipping lanes.