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Oil car train passing Transload train


If you’ve ever wondered how Norfolk Southern intermodal works, it’s easier than you think.  Read below to explore how easy it is to ship with us.

1. The process starts at the nearest intermodal ramp facility

Domestic shipments usually start with delivery of an empty railroad-owned container or trailer from the nearest Norfolk Southern intermodal facility to the shipper’s dock. (Ready to learn more? Explore our full list of Terminals & Schedules)


2. Decide what equipment to use

Trailer and container sizes and types vary, and customers can use their own or rent equipment from NS. After everything is loaded, the container or trailer is picked up and delivered to an NS intermodal facility, where it is planned for a specific train.


3. Load your shipment

Containers often are loaded two high, or “double-stacked,” to allow twice as many shipments to be moved on one train. This saves customers money, enhances transportation efficiencies, and supports NS conservation efforts by saving fuel and reducing emissions. When it’s time to load, the terminal hostler positions the container or trailer beside the rail car that will be used for the line haul. A crane carefully lifts the container or trailer and positions it securely on the car for departure.



4. Track your load as it heads to its destination

Using the latest technology, NS ensures your shipments are loaded accurately and timely. You can track your freight online using NS e-commerce tools and connect with the customer service center for support en route. When your load reaches its destination, NS electronically notifies the local trucker that the unit is ready for final delivery to the destination dock. The trucker picks the load up and delivers it by appointment to the facility.


Learn More

Get more details for Intermodal Shipping, and find the NS contact.

Intermodal equipment claim hep with repairs