Intermodal Freight Transport and Environmental Sustainability

The whole world has been opened up by the expansion of transport networks including ports and shipping, railways and modern highways, so that it is now commonplace for produce from one part of the world to make its way to a market on the other side of the globe. The widespread use of containers for shipping goods has allowed for the development of a huge intermodal freight transport network that we have all come to rely on. While this has increased the variety of goods available to everyone it has also significantly added to transport costs and the amount of energy that it now takes to bring goods to the consumer who wants to buy them. The American transport networks are the busiest in the world and US railways alone carry more cargo than all of Western Europe’s network combined. In fact two-thirds of all of the oil that is used in the US is consumed within the transport sector while container and bulk cargo ships make up almost 3% of the world’s entire carbon footprint. With rising operational costs, dwindling fuel reserves and the introduction of carbon taxes in many countries, transport companies have been developing more sustainable operational…
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