Multimodal transport is widely acknowledged to be more economic and environmental friendly compared to road transport, and has attracted a significant research effort from the field of operations research. Hinterland transport, particularly is of interest, as managing the freight flows between the port and the inland via road, waterway or railway transport offers a wide range of operational problems. Quite often though, there is a significant gap between how these problems are perceived and modeled by academia, and how they really exist in real life. This gap causes the academic solutions to be ineffective or inapplicable in solving the problems in practice. This paper is intended to describe how hinterland transport is executed in practice, and to increase the understanding of researchers. For this purposes, 12 in-depth interviews are conducted with practitioners of hinterland transport with different roles and perspectives to provide a wider picture of the business practices. Meanwhile, the view of academic research is studied via a literature review, and the findings are compiled and provided in this paper.