Importance of Transport:

  • Needed to bring raw materials to manufacturing units
  • Needed to transport manufactured goods to market
  • Leads to extension of local and overseas market
  • Improves standard of living
  • Encourages trade between countries
  • Leads to different regions specializing in goods in which they have comparative advantages
  • Encourages local production

Characteristics of different methods:

  1. Road:
  • Door to door delivery
  • No unloading and reloading from one carrier to another
  • Suitable for delivery of fragile goods
  • Road links are available to even the remotest areas
  • Special trucks for special items
  • Not restricted by time schedule
  • Road vehicle can take the shortest possible routes, whereas trains are restricted to avail tracks only.
  • Cheaper and faster for short distance
  • Expensive and slower for long distance
  • Not suitable for very bulky goods
  • Traffic is a problem




  1. Rail:
  • Cheap and fast
  • Suitable for heavy bulky goods
  • No doorstep delivery
  • Not suitable for perishable items
  • Goods have to be handled four times
  • High chances of theft
  • Timetabling is a problem
  • Inflexible-governed by time tables
  • Expensive for short distances
  • Widely available but not everywhere


  1. Air:
  • Fast
  • Free from topographical obstacles
  • Low packing costs
  • Less chances of accidents
  • Less documentation
  • Suitable for urgent orders, perishable goods and fragile items
  • No door to door service available
  • Limited carrying capacity
  • Goods need to be handled four times


  1. Sea:
  • Cheap
  • Refrigeration facility available
  • Containerization reduces the loss of goods due to pilferage or damage due to bad weather or poor handling
  • Slow
  • Documentation
  • No door to door service
  • Custom clearance takes a lot of time
  • Risk of accident


  1. Waterway:
  • Cheap for heavy and bulky goods
  • Requires navigable rivers free from rapids and sitting
  • Canals are expensive to build and maintain


  1. Pipeline:
  • Cheap
  • Difficult to detect leakage
  • Not accessible in rugged areas
  • Only carries one substance
  • Continuous supply
  • Fast
  • Rare availability

Factors affecting choice of method:

  • Nature of goods
  • Quantity
  • Value of goods
  • Risk of damage
  • Urgency
  • Convenience
  • Cost
  • Door-to-door service
  • Availability
  • Security
  • Reliability

Modes of transport:



  1. Passenger train:
  • Governed by time tables
  • Cheap and fast over long distance
  • Not available everywhere
  • No door to door service


  1. Ferry:
  • Used for local transport
  • Specially designed ships
  • For carrying passengers for fairly short distances


  1. Delivery vans:
  • Owned by some companies and businesses
  • Wholesalers detainer goods to retailers
  • Mail order businesses deliver goods through them

Benefits to a business on having own transport:

  • Convenient
  • Reliable availability
  • Cautions and careful handling
  • High security
  • Expensive
  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Wages to drivers
  • Only for those businesses who deliver on regular basis


  • Containerization:
  • Involves the stacking of goods in large metal containers
  • 20ft x 8ft x 8ft or 40ft x 8ft x 8ft
  • Waterproof
  • Weatherproof
  1. Advantages/reasons for increased use:
  • Increased security
  • Increased protection-water and weatherproof
  • Items don’t break
  • Containers can’t get lost they are transferable due to their code name
  • Available worldwide
  • Reduces transport cost to the harbor
  • Less handling charges
  • Quicker turn-round time


  • Other trends in transportation:
  1. Charter transport:
  • Flight hired by a firm or person which is not scheduled
  • For very precious and perishable goods
  • Very expensive
  • Not for regular use
  • As per the need of customer


  1. Express road routes:
  • Fast road transport
  • Better roads
  • Quicker
  • Less chances of accident
  • Good for vehicles
  • Convenient for custom officers to check trucks


  1. Changes in use of rail transport”
  • Fast railway operation
  • Bullet cargo trains save time
  • Less chances of accident
  • Cheaper than air transport


  • Transport documents:
  1. Delivery/consignment note:
  • This document is sent with goods
  • It allows the purchaser to check the items received against those listed in the note.
  • The purchaser signs this note which means that he has accepted the consignment without any flaw.
  • The note is then handed over to whosoever had delivered the goods.


  1. Bill of lading:
  • States the quantity and provides the value, description shipping marks of goods sent by ship.
  • Also contains the name of ship, port of departure and destination of goods.
  • It is in sets of two or more transferable copies, all of which are signed by the master of ship.
  • It is a receipt of goods in good condition on board.
  • When delivery of goods has taken place, all other copies are considered invalid.
  • It helps in recording statistics.
  • It allows custom authorities to check whether the goods are taxable or not.


  1. Airway bills:
  • It is used whenever a consignment is sent by air
  • It is prepared in triplicate by consigner.
  • It is an evidence of contract of carriage and note of flight charges.
  • One copy is signed by the consigner, one copy travels with the goods and one is signed by the carrier and returned to the consigner.


  • International transport:

Services offered at sea ports:

  • Provision and maintenance of deep water whirrs and control of harbor traffic.
  • Maintenance and control of navigation with port limits.
  • Provision and maintenance of efficient navigational aids.
  • Provision and maintenance of berthing facility.
  • Recording of details and particulars of goods from a ship.
  • Provision of dry and wet docks to repair ships.
  • Provision of fire brigade and security services.
  • Licensing of harbor and pleasure craft used with port limit.
  • Maintenance of bonded warehouses
  • Maintenance of roads and railways within the port area.
  • Improvement and expansion of port facilities.
  • Make terminals in deep sea to provide clear access to the port for ships.
  • Provide pilots for ships.
  • The port authorities have to build a road to provide access to the main market city area.
  • As they own the port, they have to provide office space and communication facilities to customs etc.

Services offered at airports:

  • Approving airport licenses and permits.
  • Conducting bilateral airport negotiations.
  • Providing legal advice on air legislation.
  • Maintain statistical record.
  • Control air traffic.
  • Providing search and rescue services.
  • Providing aeronautical information.
  • Providing radio navigation to aircrafts.
  • Providing communication services between aircraft and ground units.
  • Fire fighting facility.
  • First aid associated staff.