Types of transport

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Transportation involves all actions that cause physical movement of products in space, from the place of origin to the designated place of receipt at the right time, intact and after previously agreed price. There are several main types of transport used in modern economy.

Road transport

Road transport (trucking) is the most common form of transport used in most logistics operations. A well-developed network of roads allows freight carriers to reach virtually any point, which leads to the fact that transport services can be provided for the benefit of almost everyone. Due to the low capital barrier to entry to road carriers market, there is a very large number of companies providing this type service in this branch of transport.

Rail transport

Rail transport - this type of transport services are provided by a small number of large businesses (usually large portion of shares in this companies are held by the State). There is a large barrier to entry (high cost of investment in terminals, equipment and traction). The railway deals mainly with the movement of large quantities of (relatively cheap) goods over long distances (wood products, mining, agricultural products). The biggest disadvantage of rail transport is the low availability and long transit times of goods.

Water transport

Water transport - is one of the most important factors of economic development. Along large rivers it caused large cities to form over many years of economic history. By using this mode of transport low value and high content goods are transported over long distances. Also they can be easily reloaded by mechanical devices. One barge can carry about 1500 tons of cargo. Big advantages of water transport are low cost. One of the largest drawbacks are long time of carriage, as well as limited availability of space.

Air transport

In air transport the majority of income is generated from passenger transport, freight transport is still under development. The main advantage of this mode of transport compared to others is the short transportation time. The disadvantages include high cost and limited availability, which often forces companies to use of road transport services.

Pipeline transportation

Pipeline transportation - refers to the oil pipeline and not to gas pipelines. It is used most commonly to the movement of liquid petroleum products. Pipeline availability is limited, forcing the use of other means of transport (rail, road or water). Is very slow but is not disturbed by the weather conditions. It is characterized by low cost of transportation.

Comparison of passenger transport modes

Transport mode Advantages Disadvantages Summary
  • The fastest way of transport on long routes,
  • High level of safety, despite a widespread sense,
  • All things considered, it is cheaper than other means on long routes
  • No infrastructure between airports is required (navigation stations are obsoleted by GPS systems)
  • High price,
  • Airports are away of focus points, which requires changing transport modes,
  • Long time of preparation (check-in, security, waiting),
  • Baggage handling extends time of travel,
  • Fear of customers of the travel by plane,
  • High requirements for personnel expertise
  • Very sensitive to weather conditions

Number of passengers increases each year. However the cost of travel don't decrease due to new requirements regarding security. This limits effect of scale to only large airlines. Customers require high standards of services, which increases also costs of airports maintenance. The air transport has no competence in quick long range travelling.

  • Increasing average speed of modern trains
  • High comfort of modern trains
  • Average costs of train maintenance
  • Medium requirements for personnel expertise
  • Extensive net of rail tracks in most countries
  • Easy increase of train capacity
  • Lower impact on environment
  • Modern trains are only few percent of railway transport
  • Costs of rail tracks maintenance
  • Long time of travel (excerpt for modern trains)

Modern trains become a competition to aviation on short and medium routes. They usually arrive to city centres and don't require extensive security procedures. Therefore, even that transport time is longer, the whole travel can be quicker. The trains are much less sensitive to weather conditions which increases reliability.

Advantages of different types of transport

Transportation is an essential part of modern economy and there are several main types of transport used. These types of transport have a range of advantages, which include:

  • Air transport is the fastest way of transporting goods, meaning that goods can be delivered quickly and reliably, making it the perfect option for time-sensitive items and perishable goods.
  • Water transport is relatively inexpensive and energy-efficient, making it the ideal choice for bulk shipments of goods. Additionally, it is a low-impact form of transport, meaning it has fewer environmental impacts than other forms of transport.
  • Road transport is often the most cost-effective choice for smaller shipments of goods, and it is also flexible in terms of delivery schedules and routes.
  • Rail transport is highly efficient, as it can carry large volumes of goods at high speeds with relatively low energy consumption. Additionally, rail transport is low-impact, making it an environmentally friendly option.
  • Intermodal transport combines two or more types of transport, making it an efficient and cost-effective way of transporting goods. For example, goods can be transported by ship and then by road, which can reduce the cost of transport and ensure delivery times are met.

Limitations of different types of transport

Transportation is a vital part of modern economy, and there are several main types of transport used in it. However, each of them has its own limitations:

  • Air transport is the fastest way to move goods and people, but it is also the most expensive one, and it is limited by air traffic control.
  • Land transport is the most widespread and affordable way to move goods and people, but it is limited by road infrastructure, traffic laws and regulations, and safety considerations.
  • Water transport is the most cost-effective way of transporting large cargoes, but it is limited by the need for specialized vessels, the availability of ports and waterways, and weather conditions.
  • Rail transport is a reliable and efficient way to move goods and people, but it is limited by the availability and cost of tracks, the need for specialized rolling stock, and the need for railway infrastructure.

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