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Development of Intermodal Transportation in the U.S.
Since the pre-industrial era, changes in the amount and composition of cargo moved for long distances in the domestic and global markets resulted in key changes in freight handling and movement. Major cargo routes evolved in response to market trends fueled by consumer demands. The high demand for transportation services saw the conceptualization of intermodal transportation, which forms a key pillar of the world trade and the American economy today. Intermodal transportation entails the use of different modes of transport to distribute goods packed into a loading unit such as a container, from the manufacturer to the client or market. It aims at integrating several modes of transport to improve efficiency in the distribution of goods. It has developed gradually in history since the construction of rail networks. In the history of transportation in the United States, four major modes of transport have been used to carry goods. These are road, air, water and rail. Water transport transports bulky cargo at low costs while air transport moves light cargo fast. On the other hand, rail transport moves bulky goods over long distances on land, while road transport moves limited cargo over short distances. Various factors have to into play in recent years in the US regarding the nature of transportation, the volume of cargo hauled and the distance covered.
The movement of cargo using two or more modes of transport has been around since time immemorial. Waterways were used to move goods and people in the early times. During the nineteenth century, rail networks and railway terminals evolved followed by air and pipeline networks. Since then, these modes of transport…………………………