10. novembre 2021

Basic concepts in the field of international transport

Basic concepts in the field of international transport

In this article, we want to share some basic concepts in the international transport of goods.

TRANSPORT of goods is the movement of goods from one location to another.


UNIMODAL - CONVENTIONAL TRANSPORT is the transport of goods from point A to point B exclusively by one means of transport of one transport subsystem (ship, truck, train, etc.). Conventional transport takes place based on one contractual transport agreement. It is a direct transport, accompanied by one accompanying document and organized by one organizer or—freight forwarder.


The second type of transport is COMBINED TRANSPORT. This type connects two or more transport carriers, the load remaining on the original pallet, bag, etc. In this type of transport, goods are transferred from one care to another means of transportation. In the case of combined transport, the tendency is to enable goods from one means of transport to another with as few transhipment operations as possible. It involves the sequential use of two or more means of transportation.


One or more operators can organize transport. It can be about:

  • Combined transport with replacement of cargo: intermediate transfer, storage, sorting (goods on pallets),
  • -Combined transport without changing cargo (containers).


INTEGRAL TRANSPORT is the simultaneous transport of goods by two or more means of transport. Transport of goods "door to door". In integrated transport, the load does not interrupt the load process because throughout the transport process on the vehicle or other transport device. We attribute many advantages to this type of transport, such as fast, safe and high-quality transport of goods. The goods are not moved, except at the start and endpoints. It is based on a single agreement.


A related concept is an INTERMODAL TRANSPORT. It is a more modern form of combined transport and is based on integrated transport. The technological process of work does not change the cargo. Intermodal freight transport is the multimodal transport of goods in the same intermodal transport unit with successive modes of transport, whereby the change of mode of transport does not involve the transhipment of goods. "


MULTIMODAL TRANSPORT is a concept that has emerged in the development of international transport systems. It means that they are "multimodal transport operators" and recipients of goods in two different countries. This type of transport is performed by at least two different means of transport, which means that at least two transport subsystems participate in such a transport process. All international multimodal transport is based on one transport agreement.

If we also consider the environmental aspect, the intermodal form of transport is certainly the right one. Given that intermodal transport largely includes rail and water transport, it enables significant savings in environmental costs.

Following the example of the EU, Slovenia also pays special attention to intermodal transport in transport policy documents due to congested road infrastructure and the significant negative impacts of road transport on the environment. Intermodal freight transport is a leader in the industry with its sustainable benefits. Due to reduced operating costs and time, it significantly controls CO2, N2O and other harmful emissions.


For more information, the RCM Team is available at

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