Transport Modes

Agmark Logistics | Food grade shipping | ISO tanks | Intermodal shipping | Ocean shipping | Green transportation | Fuel efficient transportation | Bulk tanker shipper | Tanker shipping

When Agmark first shipped milk from Chicago to Florida on rail, it proved that if you could ship milk on rail, you could ship anything. By 1993, California milk production exceeded a diminishing supply of Wisconsin milk. At that point, Agmark aligned with the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe railroad (now the BNSF) to ship milk from California to the Wisconsin milk industry. At the same time J.B. Hunt was altering the trucking world by riding the same trains with their dry freight. UPS and the US Postal Service were also early adopters of intermodal rail. By the mid 1990’s, rail had arrived.

In the early 2000’s the world experienced the largest boom of international trade in the history of the world. This trade rode on the back of intermodalism. By 2003, Chinese container trade was starting to overwhelm the capacity of the ports and rail infrastructure. Trucking was also constrained as it provided the last leg of the intermodal equation in the US. Such constraints resulted in a rationalization of rail services across all North American railroads. The result was a refocusing on core competencies, the elimination of some services and lanes, the rewriting of rules for storage and terminal charges and most significantly, the re-pricing of rail services. By the mid 2000’s rail services were priced up to the market for all transportation.

status-quoteToday, intermodal rail service is a highly reliable but usually slower mode than over-the-road food grade tanker trucks. For much freight, this makes no difference, as the freight on rail is simply a part of their supply chain. Where high speed is needed, expedited trains that are actually faster than truck run between a number of major metropolitan markets and command a premium price. Given these services, intermodal rail operates like a virtual conveyor belt with an almost infinite capacity. You put the freight on at one end and it comes off at a predetermined time at the other.

The future of intermodalism is bright. Railroads have plowed their profits and borrowings back into their capacity. Rail capacity has kept over-the-road bulk liquid truck freight rates in check. Trucking companies now realize that it makes little sense to put a human in a tractor to pull a load thousands of miles when the same job can be done at a lower total cost, in a more environmentally conscious manner, with rail. Trucking companies also know that without rail, driver shortages would cripple their ability to serve their customers as fewer and fewer people want to drive long haul in our ever more congested society.

Agmark Logistics, a pioneer intermodal tank container operator, understands intermodalism. While international tanker shipping can be very complicated, we use our history and industry foresight as a premier bulk tanker shipper to provide customers with the flexibility and dependability they need to ship their products across the country or worldwide in our intermodal tank containers.


Intermodalism begins and ends with a truck. To ease your modal shift from over-the-road trucks to Agmark tank containers, we build our equipment to be nearly identical in functionality to road tractors and trailers. Our trucks, often company owned and operated, sometimes provided by our drayage affiliates, will arrive in the U.S. pulling our ISO tank containers on our specially-built drop frame food grade tanker hauler chassis. These chassis lower the center of gravity of the unit in highway operations and allow us to haul net weights similar to over-the-road alternatives. In foreign operations, we use the prescribed chassis for the job. Our bulk liquid food tank containers have the same capacity, manlids, and valves as those you use today in road transportation. After your product is loaded, our trucks take the food grade tanker containers to nearby rail or ship terminals for long distance transport. Once they arrive at the receiving terminal, trucks pick up the over the road bulk liquid tankers and deliver them to the appropriate destination.


TankOnFlatCarRail is our conveyor belt to move your freight over the long land distances. In North America there are over 140,000 miles of rail track operated by freight railroads. Not all of them are suitable for intermodal service. Agmark understands what works and what does not work when using rail. We can configure custom service for your needs using one or multiple railroads with both steel and rubber wheel interchanges. Railroads are the green transportation alternative to highways. In one intermodal shipping move from Florida to California, we save enough fuel to drive a car over 7000 miles. If you are interested in your carbon footprint and you want to demonstrate that your company is doing something about it, call us.


As an international tank container operating company, we can ship your bulk liquid product in our IMO, ISO, and T11 tank containers to any part of the globe. Ocean shipping has changed over the years. Some ships are now capable of moving as many as 14,000 of our size bulk ISO tanks on one vessel. The Panama Canal is being widened to be able to handle the newer larger ships. Of course smaller ships still do the bulk of the work and in many cases, are our preferred ocean freight forwarder method, as they get us closer to your origins and destinations for the bulk liquid agricultural products many of our customers ship. If you ship hazmat, our equipment meets the regulatory requirements for shipping dangerous goods at sea. We comply with the Convention for Safe Containers and are listed under the U.S. Coast Guard’s Continuous Inspection Program and the NVOCC. When ocean shipping is what you need to source your raw materials or to sell your product, call Agmark and we will design an ISO tank shipper service for you.