International Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker Based in China

Comprehensive Multi-modal Freight Services from/to China

Combination of air and sea freight: Multi Modal freight

SINO-Shipping is based in Hong Kong and offers multi-modal freight service.

Multi-modal freight is a combination of sea freight and air freight. This freight consists of mixing these modes of transport to meet our customers’ requirements.

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SINO Tips: Our customs transit tarifs are very competitive.

SINO Tips: If you want further information about our method of transport, you can have a look directly on our dedicated page: Sea freight, Air freight and Rail freight.

Advantages of multi modal transport

Multi modal transport is carried out using different modes of transport such as rail, road, sea and air. One common point, a single operator organizes all transports.

Multi modal transport is a strictly defined legal concept in the United Nations Convention on International Carriage of Goods, where the operator’s specific liability regime differs from that applicable to modal operations.

The main advantages of multi modal transport are as follows:

Minimizes time wasted at transshipment points

The multi modal transport operator makes full use of its network in order to optimize time during freight transits. Transshipment is fast and efficient, especially at administrative level.

Less distance to goods, therefore faster

Multi modal transport has the advantage of having no geographical limits: the logistics solution can exploit all possible niches (ship, plane, train, truck).

Reduces the burden of administrative tasks

A single operator manages the transport from A to Z to provide a complete solution from start to finish.

Transport savings

Multi modal freight also reduces costs by using the most competitive routes. Thanks to our network and experience, we offer highly competitive logistics solutions.

Only one intermediary

The shipper deals only with the multi modal transport operator in all matters relating to goods or delay in delivery.

SINO Tips: Multi-modal freight is highly exploited in China due to the size of the country and the numerous accesses (port, road, rail and airport). For more information on the development of these logistics structures, read the article Full Text: Development of China’s Transport from the Chinese government.

Difference between inter modal and multi modal transport

Intermodal and Multimodal – These two terms are often used interchangeably, without many people understanding the true meaning of the words.

Here we will discuss what they mean and what they represent in the freight environment.

Multi modal

As we have seen previously and contrary to inter modal, the movement of cargo from origin to destination by several modes of transport but there is only one transport provider or entity responsible, therefore under a single contract. A single carrier contracted to make a single journey.

In other words, the key functions of the two terminologies are the same, but the differentiation lies in the contract and the responsibility of the movement.


Inter modal

Is the movement of cargo from origin to destination and several modes of transport are used each time. A specific transport provider or responsible entity, each with its own independent contract? Several carriers have contracted to make a single trip.

Example of Inter modal operation

The cargo transfers from London, England to Chongqing, China – Cargo is packaged in London and moved by truck to the port of Southampton by a transportation service provider (could also be called an inter modal service provider) under the employment of the shipper.

From Southampton, the carrier assumes responsibility for the movement of the cargo to the port of discharge in China – say Shanghai.

From the port of Shanghai, the consignee uses its transport service provider (could also be qualified as an inter modal service provider) to move the cargo by rail to the Chongqing rail terminal followed by road transport to the premises.

Rail and road service may be provided by the same transportation service provider or could be provided by two different providers.


Multi-modal freight is a combination of sea freight, air freight and/or rail freight. This method consists of mixing these modes of transport to meet the requirements of our customers

SINO example: China – France via Dubai (UAE) Departure from Shanghai Shanghai-Dubai by sea freight: 15 days In Dubai, the goods transit to the international airport, to be transported to France via air freight, 2 days, so total 17 days.

Multi modal is cheaper than Airfreight, but also slower, but its more expensive than Airfreight, but also faster.

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About SINO

SINO Shipping is a trusted international freight forwarder with over 35 years of experience, offering a full range of logistics and transport services. With a strong presence in China and a commitment to efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction, SINO Shipping ensures stress-free and cost-effective logistics solutions for businesses worldwide.