The transportation industry has changed significantly throughout the years. We have witnessed changes in the different sizes of the shipments, the way they are tracked, changes in frequency, and the introduction of e-commerce. However, the way goods are transported is still pretty much unchanged, and we continue to use the five/four predominant modes of transportation of our goods – road, rail, marine, and air transportation.

Road Transportation:

This type of transportation is probably the first that comes to mind. It is certainly the most well-known and the most cost-effective option. In 2017, road transport accounted for 76.7% of the total inland freight transport. This is a great choice for companies that rely on fast delivery to retain their customers. Trucks offer greater flexibility than rail, and transportation is direct. However, trucks do cause a lot of environmental damage and are often subject to accidents.

Carrying Goods by Train

Unlike road and marine transport, rail is hardly affected by weather conditions. Transport trains will run in the rain, fog, snow, and other conditions that would otherwise delay shipments carried by other methods. With fixed schedules that run regularly, railway service is more certain, compared to other methods of shipment.

Rail transport also offers huge carrying capacities, which can grow to fit your needs. Unlike trucks or boats, which have a fixed amount of space that can’t be exceeded, additional wagons can always be added to trains if you need more room.

In addition to all the benefits for you and your company, you’ll also be giving great opportunities to surrounding communities. Rail transport can provide employment opportunities to both skilled and unskilled workers, making it a positive choice for the entire community. The biggest disadvantage, however, is that if there are delays in transportation, it can actually take much longer to get your freight delivered than with other methods of transportation. With rail transportation, you need to schedule container drop off and pick up at the terminals which could end up taking a long time.

Shipping by Plane:

Air transportation is convenient for so many reasons – it's convenient, fast, and doesn’t have to compete with natural barriers. While road transport is the quickest way to deliver goods that only have a short distance to travel, air transportation is the fastest option for freight that has a further destination—it’s even regarded as the best mode of transportation for perishable goods for this exact reason. Air cargo accounts for less than one percent of world trade tonnage, yet 35 percent of world trade value is carried by air.

One of the main disadvantages of air transportation is the fact that it is easily affected by any kind of weather, and your shipment is likely to get delayed because of rain, snow or high winds.

Ocean Shipping:

Marine transportation is extremely slow, but it is a great option if you are looking to ship goods and are not in a rush. Ships carry 90% of the world’s goods. Without ocean shipping, intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials, and the import/export of affordable food and manufactured goods would simply not be possible.

The main disadvantage of marine transport is that it can be difficult to monitor the exact location of the goods in transit.

The importance of transportation is immense, it enables communication, trade and other forms of exchange between people, which in turn establishes civilizations. Transport also plays an important part in economic growth and globalization. 

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