The weaknesses in SWOT analysis describe the disadvantages of CT in the BSR. The improvement of these aspects would increase the usability of CT for freight transport.

Efficient and competitive combination of transport modes is sometimes challenging in practice, even though CT provides an opportunity for optimized transportation. There are many reasons for this situation. In the BSR, there is insufficient knowledge about CT due to long tradition of pure road transport in the area and there are comparatively low (especially CT capable) transport volumes in this region. The transport volumes are spatially scattered and in the BSR the last mile is typically long due to rural structures. This affects the competitiveness of CT, since the longer the main leg and shorter the last mile, the more competitive CT is, in general, because the handling efforts must be compensated by lower transport cost of the main leg and the last mile. 

This is due to the most important disadvantage of the CT—additional transshipment cost. This results from the specificity of the intermodality, where at least two times a load unit has to be transshipped from first mile to main leg and afterward, from the main leg to the last mile. All existing transshipment technologies are offered in specialized CT terminals, equipped with costly gantry cranes or reach stackers, operating on the special prepared terminal infrastructure. Only selected horizontal technologies allow low-cost transshipment in the whole chain. In all other cases it is necessary to bear these costs.

The missing links in transport networks also hinder the use of the potential of CT. As an example, the volumes transported on barges are almost negligible in the BSR (SGKV & UIRR, 2020). For instance in Sweden, there is a lot of IWT potential that is not used sufficient or even at all. When it comes to weaknesses in using rail, there are different track gauges within the BSR. Rail share in total freight volume and intermodal share in rail freight is very different between specific BSR countries (UIC 2020).

The CT sector needs further improvements regarding the velocity and liability of its processes. Cost and time-intensive handling processes constitute one weakness for CT. New handling technologies in terminals would improve this weakness, but in the BSR, there is a lack of application of these new handling technologies. In general, bottlenecks at terminals are disadvantages of CT (UIC, 2020). Main reason for that are high costs of infrastructure construction.

Very often as disadvantage for the CT is mentioned a shortage of rail wagons (i.e., pocket wagons or container platforms), especially intermodal (universal) ones. Despite of the cost-intensive investment in the fleet, self-supply of intermodal wagons shows serious barriers for future development.

All these above-mentioned disadvantages cause problems considering the strong competition on freight market, especially with road transport.