Multimodal transport is a new development in the goods transport system all around the world. It means carriage of goods by two or more modes of transport from one place to another. The main reason for using multiple kinds of transport is a faster and efficient delivery process.

Multimodal Transportation System is a worldwide network linking airlines, roadways, railways and shipping lines in one chain with a motive of a better quality of service to customers at a cheaper rate and reliable schedule.

The various modes of transport in logistics and can be divided broadly as land, water, and air.


Land transport is a transport or movement of goods from one location to another on land. The two main kinds of land transport are rail and roadways.


There are many types of water transport, including barges, ships, ferries, tug boats, and sailboats. Generally, used on water bodies such as oceans, lakes, seas, canals, and rivers.


It is the fastest mode of transport and therefore suitable for the carriage of goods over a long distance especially perishable goods.

Multimodal Transport Document

When Multimodal transport operator or MTO takes charge of the goods from the consignor, he issues a signed transport document with the consent of the consignor. List of general particulars contain in a Multimodal Transport document:

1.    The name of the consignor

2.    The name of the consignee

3.    General nature and character of goods

4.    Identification, gross weight of goods and number of packages

5.    Place of delivery of the goods

6.    The place and date of its issue

7.    The name and address of the MTO

8.    The journey route and mode of transport

9.    The signature of the MTO

The best possible multimodal combinations include ocean-highway, highway-waterway, rail-highway, rail-waterway, pipeline-rail, and pipeline- highway. The most popular combination of three modes together is air-highway rail combination.

List of Benefits of Multimodal Transport

Multimodal transport is always the best choice in International Trading as it comes with various benefits listed below:

  • Cost-Effective- Savings are higher as under one contract most of the costs are covered.
  • One Stop Solution- The consignor needs to deal with only the Multimodal transport operator in all matters related to goods or in delay in delivery of goods at the destination.
  • Fast Delivery Time- The in-between delays are reduced therefore leads to faster delivery and less detention.
  • Less number of Documentation and Formalities- In a multimodal system, the documents are reduced to minimal which makes the operation smooth.
  • Less time Loss at Transits- Multimodal transport operator maintains its communication links and coordinates effortlessly at the point of transit.
  • Low Cost in Export- For exporters, it gives a competitive edge over the price war of goods as it is relatively low.

Transportation plays a vital role in global trading; a country with a poor or lack of suitable transportation infrastructure discourages many global corporations. An efficient multimodal transport system helps in the promotion of foreign trade and national development.