Transportation Services and Modes of Transport
In human evolution, the first means of transportation were walking, running, and swimming. Before the industrial revolution and modernization, water transport was the most efficient method of transporting large quantities of goods over long distances, although it was very slow and expensive. The importance of water transport led to the growth of cities along rivers and shores where boats, canoes and ships could dock.
The domestication of animals and the invention of the sled gave way to the first animal transport services. Horses and oxen have been used since 3000 BC. for the transport of goods and men and traveled on dirt roads. Later civilizations such as Mesopotamians and the Indus Valley built asphalted roads to facilitate transportation.
The industrial revolution of the 19th century overturned transport. It was the era of many inventions that radically changed the concept of transportation. Communication, telegraphy, the steam engine and the steamship accelerated global transport in all directions. Land transport became possible over great distances without the application of animal or human muscles. The Wright brothers’ successful experiments with airplanes paved the way for airplanes, and air travel became a faster way to transport goods and people faster to further destinations.
Means of transport
A “mode of transport” is a method or solution that uses a particular type of infrastructure, operation and vehicle to transport people and goods. A modality can be used alone or in combination with many other modalities; in this case we speak of “intermodal” or “multimodal” transport. Each is distinct from the other and is used based on the choice of factors such as the cost of transportation, the route taken, capacity, and so on.
1. Human-powered: It is the most common in developing and underdeveloped countries due to several factors such as cost savings, location accessibility, exercise, and environmental serviceonetransportation.com
reasons. Human-powered transport is a sustainable form of transport and has recently been enhanced by the use of modern machinery and technologies, e.g. cycling, skating, rowing, skiing which are extremely useful in harsh environments.
2. Animal-powered – whether ridden by humans or used as pack animals for the movement of people and goods, animals can work alone or in groups – eg. mules, horse-drawn carriages, dog sleds etc.
3. Airplanes: Airplanes and aircraft have significantly reduced travel times and are the fastest way to transport passengers and goods. High costs and high energy consumption are the disadvantages of air transport; however, it is estimated that over 500,000 people travel in airplanes at any given time.
4. Rail – Railways and tracks run the length and breadth of every country in the world carrying people and goods from one place to another. Although they involve the use of large amounts of surface land, railway networks provide easy connectivity options within cities, within countries and between different countries as a mode of public transport, e.g. New York City Underground, London Underground, Eurotunnel or Chunnel between England and France and Euro Rail.
5. Road: Road networks pass through cities, towns and villages and provide better connectivity options in addition to urban rail networks and are also ideal for public transport. Road transport is completely different from other modes in that it allows a vehicle user to have complete freedom over speed, direction, travel times and change of location that other transport methods cannot provide. They require large surfaces, consume high energy and are quite expensive.
6. Water – Water transport includes barges, boats, sailboats and ships through canals, rivers and seas. The first boats and ships were routed through the internal channels for the transport of people and spices. Today, large cargo and passenger ships provide an organized and efficient method of transportation. Although it takes a long time, water transport is considerably less expensive than air or road transport.
Other lesser-used modes include cable and pipeline transport that are specifically purpose-oriented, e.g. liquids and gases, water, sewage etc. for transport on pipelines and conveyor belts, cable cars, cable cars, etc. for cable transport.
All transport services involve three common elements: infrastructures such as terminals and structures, operations that include public and private entities and vehicles built specifically for the purpose.