DEFINITION of 'Intermodal Freight'
Products and raw materials that are placed in a container that can be transported by a variety of vehicles, such as container ships, semi-trailer trucks and trains. Containers designed for intermodal freight often adhere to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) dimension guidelines, allowing the freight to remain in the container when transfered between modes of transportation rather than being moved into a container of a different size.
BREAKING DOWN 'Intermodal Freight'
The emergence of standardized shipping containers has allowed products and raw materials to travel faster and at a reduced cost. The United States military is often credited with the containerization of shipping during the 1950s, when Department of Defense standards were adopted by the ISO.