Advantages and Disadvantages: Modes of Transport

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Advantages/Disadvantages, Modes of Transport

Air Freight
Air freighting is commonly used by companies who work with short lead times, or advanced service levels. Shipping by air certainly isn’t the cheapest alternative, and is only advisable for certain size/weighted products.

o Fastest for long distance deliveries
o Customer perception is high, easy for order fulfilment
o Very safe mode of transport
o Reduces lead time on suppliers
o Improved service levels

o Risky
o Potential for flight delays and/or cancellations
o Customs and Excise restrictions
o Expensive vs. other modes
o Unsuitable for some goods,
o Limited routes, and inflexible timetables
o Environmental pollution
o Airport taxes

Sea Freight
Sea transportation is usually used by companies who ship a large amount of goods at once, with longer lead times. This mode of transport is the longest, yet is ideal for bulk shipments such as coal and minerals.

o Ideal for transporting heavy and bulky goods
o Suitable for products with long lead times
o Cheap for large volumes

o Very slow, longer lead/delivery times
o Difficult to monitor exact location of goods in transit o Customs and Excise restrictions
o Could be costly
o Inflexible routes and timetables
o Port duty/taxes
o Requires inland transportation for door-to-door delivery
Rail Freight
Rail transportation offers many advantages and is (for obvious reasons) used for domestic use or inter-continental. Rail transport is ideal for heavy goods and has a wide range of applications.

o Fast delivery
o Capacity
o Cost effective
o Safe mode of transport
o Reliable
o More environmentally friendly than alternatives
o Does not add to congestion

o Potential of damages, from shunting
o Subject to unforeseen delays
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