Intermodal Trailer Everything you need to know truckers wiki

Table of Contents

What is an Intermodal Trailer?

Intermodal trailers are specially designed trailers used in intermodal transport, which involves moving cargo using more than one mode of transportation – generally truck, ship, and rail – without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. The primary purpose of intermodal trailers is to consolidate freight and streamline the transport process, thus reducing handling costs, improving transport speed, and decreasing damages and losses.

Types of Intermodal Trailers

There are several types of intermodal trailers, each designed for a specific purpose or type of cargo:

  1. Container Chassis: Designed to carry a shipping container. These are the most common type of intermodal trailer and come in a variety of lengths to match different container sizes.

  2. Flatbed Intermodal Trailer: Used for oversized or irregular cargo, these trailers offer greater flexibility in terms of cargo shape and size.

  3. Refrigerated Intermodal Trailer: These trailers are used for temperature-sensitive cargo. They come equipped with a temperature control unit to maintain specific temperatures during transportation.

The Importance of Intermodal Trailers

Intermodal trailers are critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of global trade. Here’s why:

  1. Cost-Effective: By using an intermodal trailer, companies can take advantage of the cost efficiencies offered by different modes of transport.

  2. Environmentally Friendly: Intermodal shipping can reduce the carbon footprint of freight transport by leveraging the efficiency of rail for long-distance hauls.

  3. Reliable: Intermodal transport tends to be more reliable, with less handling of the goods resulting in fewer damages and losses. It also reduces dependency on a single mode of transportation.

  4. Versatility: Intermodal trailers can handle a wide range of cargo types, making them highly versatile and beneficial to many industries.

The Future of Intermodal Trailers

As global trade continues to grow, the importance of intermodal trailers will only increase. Innovations are continually being made to make these trailers lighter, more durable, and more efficient. In addition, with increased focus on sustainability, the future of intermodal transport looks promising, pushing for more fuel-efficient designs and environmentally friendly materials.


Intermodal trailers form the backbone of the global logistics network. They represent a critical juncture in the transport chain, allowing for the smooth transition of goods between road, rail, and sea. Understanding their function, benefits, and future direction is essential to appreciate their role in facilitating global trade.

To learn more about the types of trailers used in the trucking industry click here. 

Here is a video of Driver Success about securing intermodal trailers.

Listen to The Article Here

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Reply

Close Search Window