Source: adapted from M. Rahimi, A. Asef-Vaziri and R. Harrison (2008) Integrating Inland Ports into the Intermodal Goods Movement System for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Metrans Transportation Center, Project 07-01.
Among the functions that provide added value for freight:
- Processing. An array of transformations performed on the goods being carried as they are transiting. They can include packaging, assembly, or testing. The location of these activities depends on the type of product and the market.
- Distribution. An array of operations performed on the cargo so that it can be distributed more efficiently. Consolidation and deconsolidation are common operations, with transloading and cross-docking being aimed at changing the load unit.
- Customs clearance. Capacity to ensure that the inbound cargo is compliant with national rules and regulations. Correspond to the official port of entry where cargo can enter or exit a country.
- Foreign trade zone. A sanctioned site where foreign and domestic goods are considered to be outside of the customs territory. It becomes possible to use this status to perform activities in a manner less subject to duties and taxation.
- Container depot. A facility where containers are stored and made available to the maritime shipping and/or inland distribution market.