Strengths And Disadvantages Of Intermodal Transportation

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Register to read the introduction… Firstly, it results in longer lead time, which suggests that the mode is less responsive to changing demand and more likely to result in higher inventory, both in pipeline and in warehouses. Second, transshipment and double handling are unavoidable in intermodal transportation. This might lead to less control, lower traceability and higher risk of damage in the case that a less professional carrier is taking charge of the transportation. Moreover, as more modes, routes and parties are involved, the delivery is more vulnerable to disturbing events. Lastly, final decision should also take account of the weaknesses of individual modes involved. For example, decision makers should examine whether the delay problems of sea and rail transport is serious in the selected route, as it may largely hinders delivery …show more content…
SilicaChem could use intermodal to serve the stable part of the demand and use road transport to serve the fluctuated part. However, sophisticated planning and good relationship with carriers and customers would be required in this mixed mode alternative.

Another alternative the company could consider is using multiple carriers in intermodal transport. As illustrated in Appendix 1, the quotations of the same route or activity from two carriers can be significantly different. Therefore, it is beneficiary for the company to understand the cost components of carriers and the rationale behind the quotations, in order to grasp the opportunity of better deal and more reliable service (Jennings and Holcomb,
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However, sea freight has several weaknesses that decision makers need to be aware of. Firstly, it has a much longer transit time, which falls beyond the 1-2 week lead time required by the end customer. Therefore, high level of inventory in pipeline and warehouse is needed and urgent air freight shipment is necessary. Secondly, various kinds of delays can frequently occur during sea freight transportation, owning to pre-shipment delay, bad weather, or other disturbing factors (Rushton, 2010). Unreliable delivery could add handling, coordinating and back order cost to the supply chain. Lastly, compare to air transportation, sea freight is exposed to more risk of damage, which may require better packaging and thus increases packaging cost (Rushton,

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