From ancient times goods have been transported from the countryside to big cities and towns and vice versa. Goods also have been traded with neighboring and distant countries. The best example is the ancient Silk Route. The Silk route made use of different modes of transportation according to the region. While in some places camels were used to transport goods in the form of caravans, in coastal areas ships were the preferred mode of transportation.
Goods transportation, a boost to the global economy
Transportation of goods is a broad term which includes several kinds of activities and modes of transportation. Moving raw materials from mines or forest areas to factories, transporting the finished goods to markets, distribution of goods to various consumer centers worldwide are just some of the activities that come under the category.
Another example that can be stated is that of agricultural produce transported to a food processing unit. The processed goods are then stored in a warehouse to be transported to distribution centers.
The mode of transport used in this process would vary widely according to the volume of goods to be moved, the urgency and the geographical topography of the region. Today goods are transported using various modes of transport giving rise to transport corridors. Transport corridors along with favorable customs and tariff duties have boosted trade in different parts of the world.
Efficient transportation of goods is based upon
- The Infrastructure
- Vehicles or mode of transportation
- Operations and administration
- Energy or fuel supply and consumption
The different modes for goods transportation
Road Transportation (Roadways) is the oldest means of transport used for moving goods. Whether in the form of caravan trails or paved paths, roads have been used extensively in the past. The automobile revolutionized road transport and today freight trucks, wagons and trailers carry large volumes of goods across highways.
Also with improved methods of lying roads using material like concrete and tarmac, roads are now much more durable. Further advances in civil engineering have meant that bridges can be built across water bodies facilitating movement of goods across regions separated by rivers.
Maritime transportation has always been an important mode to transport goods across countries and continents. Consuming less energy as compared to roadways or rail, cargo ships can carry thousands of tons of freight in a single trip from one port to another.
With the advent of containerization, goods can now be easily transported using ships which can be unloaded at ports and then transported via rail to inland markets.
After the Industrial Revolution, rail transport began to be extensively used for moving goods. Rail technology has improved considerably over the years. Today diesel-electric locomotives haul large quantities of freight in most parts of the world.
High speed rail transport has proved to be efficient in transporting goods over large distances in countries like the United States, Russia and China and in Europe.
The use of aircraft in transporting cargo has generally been limited to areas where urgency is the primary need. Large airfreight carriers like the Boeing 707 and 727 can transport significant amounts of cargo at a time.
However the cost of transportation and limitation in the volume of goods that can be transferred at a time has prevented large scale use of aircraft in goods movement.
Planning is crucial
While Goods Movement, Transportation has an obvious impact on the economic sphere it also has a visible effect on the environment. Planning is vital to manage the various factors involved. A well planned transport system would make optimum use of available facilities and ensure a streamlined and eco-friendly transportation process at lesser costs.