Is it possible to make good money hauling containers (intermodal)?

Discussion in 'Intermodal Trucking Forum' started by Byrds Eye View, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Mailman85

    Mailman85 Bobtail Member

    Oct 11, 2020
    Thinking about buying a unit and running the rails here in Chicago not trying to get rich just make a decent living in a decent tractor do you think it'd be a good move?
    77fib77 Thanks this.
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  3. v6killer

    v6killer Medium Load Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    Do your home work on which Carrier you want to work for, What freight lanes you want to work in.
    Intermodal can be very easy work, that said. You got to remember equipment is 25+ years old that you'll be pulling down the road. Your biggest experience will be your truck maintenance, Most drive go broke or so far in debit, be for any money is made, because they don't have business plan in place.
  4. 77fib77

    77fib77 Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    St Louis
    Call them and ask. I had experience. Doing crude oil and oil water. Imo I think you need training. I don't know where the pay is now. Dry van pays good now, but it always increases and then drops slowly and then bottoms out.
    SGT. Super Slab Thanks this.
  5. Danny707

    Danny707 Light Load Member

    Mar 26, 2019
    Out here in the Ports of Virginia “Hampton Roads” drivers are making up to 2800-4000 a week and are home everyday. My cousin in Chicago makes 3500-5000 a week as well home daily. Obviously OTR van pays more but you can’t go wrong with a home daily runs. Owner operators of course.
    Andre_K, Speed_Drums and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  6. PureLeafTea

    PureLeafTea Light Load Member

    Mar 21, 2013
    I love home daily. Most home daily is back home at 7pm and leaving at 5am. That’s not home daily. Eat a meal go to bed? No thanks. I’d sleep at the receiver or at the port so I can get my container back in.

    Has it changed or are you still unpaid for all that time sitting picking up your container and taking it back? I talked to one carrier years ago and you weren’t paid and it took 4 hours sometimes 6 altogether. You could drop and pick up at their yard and a yard jockey would do it all but they wanted $150 for that service. Rate per mile for the runs were $1.78.

    I finished laughing and hung up.
    Bfr38 and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  7. South of heaven

    South of heaven Bobtail Member

    Mar 2, 2021
    I'm stepping into the intermodal game here in Boston. Gonna be leased on to Evans and primarily running out of the port in Southie.
  8. ChevyCam

    ChevyCam Light Load Member

    Mar 4, 2018
    Good to get your feet wet, not a long term solution. up at 5am and home by 7pm like the guy said above.

    Low rates and a lot of unpaid time/miles loading containers and returning boxes/chassis.

    Better know how to work on your truck and save for profits for repairs and maintenance.

    3500-4k running Georgia ports averaging 1.50-1.75 per mile.
  9. Imagine

    Imagine Bobtail Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    I work in the shipping container part which isnt far off from Intermodal but does have the same long hours. I'm paid by the hour and feel it's working better for me. It's working for a lot of our other drivers but there are days when waiting to get a box put on can suck. Detroit area here.
    ChevyCam Thanks this.
  10. Mike Murphy

    Mike Murphy Bobtail Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    Hello BigJoel -

    I am a researcher at the University of Texas - Center for Transportation Research. I posted a topic under Experienced Truckers asking about information that truckers want if a hurricane is approaching regarding closure of port facilities. I'm also conducting a survey of Texas truckers and truckers in other US states and was surprised that almost no truckers that have responded pull container chassis --- the most common are dry box vans, refrigerated, flat bed, low boy and step deck trailers.

    Where do truckers who are not pulling container chassis drop off and pick up loads inside Barbours Cut or Bayport? Are they delivering to a warehouse or some type of cross-docking facility where their load is then containerized?

    I've mapped cross docking facilities in Houston, but outside the port gates (World Trade Distribution, Adams Delivery and Warehouse, Canal Cartage etc.) but I don't see any facilities inside the port. Can you explain where the dry box, reefers, flat bed, low boys and step decks are delivering in side the port gates?

    Thanks very much

    Mike Murphy
  11. WTFD

    WTFD Bobtail Member

    Dec 31, 2021

    The first rule of port work is, don't talk about port work.
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