Who is a multi-modal transport operator & how do they differ from freight forwarder ?

It is always nice to get some feedback and inputs from the readers of the blog.. Here is one question that has come up :

Who is a multi-modal transport operator and how do they differ from a freight forwarder..??

Before we go to the question, lets discuss what is a Multi-Modal transport.. As the name may indicate, it is a method of transportation of goods from Point A to Point B using Multiple Modes of transportation, covered under one bill of lading.. This Point A and Point B are in different countries.. Multiple modes of transport include – road, rail, air and sea..

So who then is a Multi Modal Transport Operator..?? Based on the above definition, we can say that under the current scenario all of the below entities MAY be termed as a Multi Modal Transport Operator :

  1. Shipping Lines – because under Carrier Haulage, they undertake rail, road modes of transport – either via their own infrastructure or via 3rd party
  2. Freight Forwarder – because in a lot of cases specially where they issue House Bills, they are taking on the role of the carrier and as such may and in a lot of cases do offer rail, road and sea modes of transport – either via their own infrastructure or via 3rd party
  3. NVOCC Operators – because in most cases the NVOCC performs/undertakes the services of a Shipping Line/Freight Forwarder combined, alongwith the risks/responsibilities that comes with performing such services.. This could include but not restricted to offering rail, road and sea modes of transport – either via their own infrastructure or via 3rd party
  4. In short – any entity that signs a muli-modal contract, assumes the responsibility for the same, and issues a multi-modal transport document to the merchant..

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

8 comments on “Who is a multi-modal transport operator & how do they differ from freight forwarder ?

  1. Htet Ko Zin says:

    Thanks a lot, sir

  2. I.Fathy says:

    Unfortunately the article did not give me an answer to the main question, What is the difference between FFC and MTO?

    1. Tabot Etienne says:

      i love the way you answered the question ¨different between MTO and FF

  3. Youssef Okasha says:

    in brief ,, the multimodal operator preform the plan of shipment as he chooses the means and modes , and then the frieghtforwarder just applies it in the form of bill of lading (contracting or document activities)

  4. Good day readers, the term Multi Modal Transport or the movement of cargo via landside by rail from a Port of discharge to an inland terminal with the latter being a final delivery by a road truck to a customer is commonly know as Multi-Modal haulage. This can be labeled as a thru bill or un cleared, with the final clearance / release being done. This can also be done via a domestic movement as well. This is how we ( CMKCD and others ) are signaled out as Intermodal Haulage Companies. We act or serve a customer to have his or her cargo moved from Point A to C via point B, so to put it. An Intermodal company such as ourselves also act as haulage companies with direct moves to a customer from point A to point B by road or rail haulage as well.

    Regards
    Kerwin

  5. I was also interested in this question, so… thanks for the comprehensive answer, Hariesh!

  6. Captain Jool says:

    As practically, there is a country, has no coast or land entrance, so it transferred their products via rails or other media, to any sea port in another country, this issue raise, to overcome such as case, and facilitate the smooth handling and improve the trade between the countries.

    1. hassan says:

      mult model transporting is type of service which can F.F Co or Shipping line or nvocc Can do it

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