Inland terminals serve three non-exclusive functions; as satellite terminals, load centers and transshipment terminals:
- Satellite terminal. An intermodal facility built in proximity to the port in order to handle additional traffic, particularly if the port facility is congested (high costs). Satellite terminals are also widely used to support container transloading activities and empty container depots.
- Load center. A standard intermodal terminal aiming at servicing a regional market.
- Transshipment. In some circumstances, an inland terminal may also serve a transshipment role that is connecting different systems of circulation. This transshipment can either take place by shunting (rail to rail) or between terminals with truck transfers.