Not only the nature of the cargo, but also the urgency of delivery and the cost of this service play a critical part when the goods are delivered. Therefore, various modes of transport are used in international logistics, which enables to reduce delivery times, increase the efficiency of logistics procedures, and ensure the safety and integrity of the cargo.
Transportation by Road
Let’s take Great Britain as an instance. This is an island state. Previously, most of the country’s cargo transportation was carried out by sea and by air. However, the Channel Tunnel made road transport a top priority. The preference for this mode of transport is due to its numerous advantages:
- The total length of roads worldwide is approaching 65 million km. The length of Great Britain’s roads exceeds 398 thousand km. This means that using a vehicle you can deliver your freight to any place with a road.
- A wide range of vehicles enables to transport any type of freight, including dangerous and out-of-gauge goods. For instance, frozen goods are delivered by refrigerator trucks, special-purpose machines are transported by low bed trucks, and car transporters are involved to deliver passenger cars. In addition, motor vehicles have an impressive load capacity. For instance, one truck can transport up to 24 tons of freight, and one timber truck can transport up to 85 tons.
- The motor vehicle is an integral part of the logistics chain for door-to-door delivery.
- Using motor vehicles enables to carry freight by road 24 hours a day and makes it possible not to depend on port and airport operation hours, which is a big lead compared to sea and air transport.
There are several large cities in the Great Britain – London, Liverpool, Harwich, etc. For instance, the port of London annually handles about 48 million tons of cargo.
Sea transport is the most suitable mode of transport for delivering goods to the continent, especially large consignments. Thus, a standard 20-foot container can hold 22 tons of cargo, and thousands of such containers can be transported on one vessel.
Using air transport results in higher costs compared to sea transport, but one of its advantages is fast delivery. As a rule, this mode of transport is used in emergency, for instance, when it is necessary to deliver cargo urgently (medicines, etc.). It can also be used for transporting perishable goods (flowers or food). In addition, the plane is the only means of transportation that can be used to reach remote areas located in the middle of nowhere (for instance, research stations at the South Pole).
Carriers make heavy use of this mode of transport around the world to deliver large volumes of cargo (the capacity of one wagon can exceed 200 tons) over long distances within one continent. However, in this case, transportation times increase (usually 5-7 days or more).
Cost-effective transportation is transportation by road, but air transport can significantly reduce delivery times. Sea and railway transportation is distinguished by its enormous capacity and the ability to transport goods over long distances.