Transportation Modes Paper 1

Topics: Transportation, Logistics, Mode of transport Pages: 17 (4605 words) Published: April 13, 2015
Christopher M Melton
Senior Research Paper
March 2, 2010

Key Factors to Consider when Deciding on a Mode of Transport

It is Friday evening and you have just sat down at the fireplace after a wonderful meal. You and your spouse open a bottle of your favorite Italian wine and sip away. All the time you are sipping away I bet you never thought once about how that exquisite bottle of wine made it to your living room. Most likely it’s travels involved something like this……a truck ride on a long country road from the vines in Italy to the manufacturer who then sent the wine in containers via truck to a bottling plant who then sent the bottles on a train across Italy to a port that then shipped the wine across the Atlantic Ocean where it was picked up by another truck and taken to an airport to be flown from Florida to Virginia where it was again loaded on a truck who delivered it to your grocery store off the Boulevard in Colonial Heights. We do not often think about how products make it to our homes or our lives. However, the process can be quite extensive and involves many logistical and supply chain challenges. Tseng emphasizes the importance of transportation logistics, “ The operation of transportation determines the efficiency of moving parts. The progress in techniques and management principles improves the moving load, delivery speed, service quality, operation costs, the usage of facilities and energy saving. Transportation takes a crucial part in the manipulation of logistics and a proper transport implements and techniques to link the producing procedures.” (online, What does all of that mean? The bigger picture is this: transportation plays a major logistical role for companies, governments, and consumers across the world. Would you want to pay the extra charges to ship your new couch all by itself from Italy to your front door? Most people would answer no to that question. We all rely on sophisticated logistical planning to ensure that the costs of our products are not overwhelmed by the cost to transport them. The chart below sows, “the components of logistics costs based on the estimation from the Air Transportation Association…..this analysis shows that transportation is the highest cost, which occupies 29.4% of logistics cost…..The transportation cost here includes the means of transportation, corridors, containers, pallets, terminals, labors, and time.” (online,

The first challenge that a company must face when approaching the delivery logistics of their product is to decide what mode of transportation is best for them. There are many things that should be considered when trying to answer this question. Every company is faced with the challenge of choosing the most appropriate form of transportation for their product. According to Johnson and Wood, “We have surveyed the essential operating characteristics of each transportation alternative available…..Every manager must decide which transportation “mix” will best meet the company’s objectives.” They go on to say that the four basic and most important characteristics to be considered are speed, dependability, capability, and fuel efficiency. (Johnson and Wood, 168)

It is important to all companies that their products arrive in a timely manner. Customers are not patient and expect products at their finger tips. In order to keep up with the competition companies must not let their reputation of speedy delivery faultier. “Modern society tends to "shorten" physical distances between people by the design of more and more advanced technical aids. Aspiration towards better mobility of people, services and assets is in the background of every technical, organizational and most, if not all, of today's other systems,” states GISDATA. (online, The quicker companies can get items to the shelves or to the consumer the better. GISDATA continues, “There is...

Cited: 12 Steps to a “Greener” Supply Chain. 2008. Paul Brody and Mondher Ben-Hamida
Advantage of Third Party Logistics in Supply Chain Management. 2010. Toshinori Nemoto and Koichiro Tezuka. Online:
Early History of Water based Transportation. 2009. Online:
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
History of Commercial Air Freight. 2009.
History of Rail Transport. 2009.
Online: www.en.wikipedia/wiki/history_of_rail_transport
History of Road Transport. 2009. Online: www.en.wikipedia/wiki/historyofroadtransport
Johnson, James and Wood, Donald
Logistics and Fleet Management. 2010. Online:
Multimodal transportation, logistics, and the environment: managing interactions in a global economy
Pipeline Transport. 2009. Online:
Transportation Modes: An Overview
March 2, 2010
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