Features and advantages of intermodal transport

September 04 2020

Intermodal transport is a pillar of CST Group’s business strategy to respond to the sustainability and safety principles that have always guided the company’s strategies.

Within the activities of the freight transport sector, we call intermodal transport for the modality that uses different means of transport to transport the same unit of load, trying to achieve a fast and efficient management in the operation.

Each carrier issues a document and is individually responsible for the service provided.


More and more transactions require the transport of goods. The most commonly used is land transport, which allows goods to be delivered “door to door”. However, this means of transport is less safe (road safety, traffic congestion) and less sustainable due to the proportion of CO2 emissions generated compared to its alternatives.

For this reason, intermodal transport proposes to combine the door-to-door benefit of road transport with the efficiency and sustainability provided by other means such as train or ship.

With intermodal transport, a more efficient mode of freight transport is sought both in terms of costs and sustainability, as well as minimizing cargo handling.

Intermodal vs multimodal transport

These two forms of transport share many characteristics, however, the difference between them is in details, but important.

While intermodal transport combines transport systems by moving the same unit load, multimodal transport consists of moving goods (without using the same unit load) using more than one means of transport. In this mode the same transport document is used, therefore there is only one carrier responsible for the service.

Intermodal transport in CST

The commitment to combined land/and sea service makes it possible to contribute to the modal shift in Spain, from all roads to the sea, thus reducing the first and last mile of kilometers traveled and, directly, the amount of heavy vehicles in circulation and emissions into the atmosphere, allowing a saving of almost 1 million kg of CO2, responding to the sustainability values on which the brand is based.

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