Modern means of transportation play key role in the promotion of trade through land, air or ocean. On the land, the ancient camel caravans have been replaced by railway trains, trucks and trolleys. Bulk of the international trade is being carried out by large cargo ships which are sailing in all major seas and oceans. Even navigable rivers and lakes are taking part in the commercial activities. On the other hand, a notable part of global trade is taking place through cargo aircraft.
The importance of the means of transportation can be summarized as given below:
- Transportation means are important because without them trade activities are not possible. Ships, trucks, trains, aeroplanes and boats carry goods from one place to another in a safe manner.
- Transportation means provide the basics for modern exports and imports. Thus, the product of one region are carried to the other region.
- The means of transportation are instrumental in the development of a region because they provide link between far-flung places. Thus, the products are provided to the consumers.
- These means connect the farm with market.
- The means of transportation provide job opportunities to millions of people. The trade network provides employment to countless transporters, traders, shopkeepers, employees of airports, railways stations, sea ports and other trade outlets.
- Millions of people are working in the factories and shipyards which are engaged in the production of railway wagons, engines, aircraft, trucks, boats and cargo ships.
- Rail, road and air transport networks play major role in the social, cultural and economic development of a region.
- Means of transportation help to carry goods at low costs.
Modes of Transportation:
Major modes of transportation are as under:
- Land transportation through animals
- Land transportation through railways
- Land transportation through vehicles of road
- Transportation through inland water ways
- Ocean transportation
- Air transport
(1). Land Transport through animals:
Despite the use of trucks, railways, ships and aeroplanes, animals transport is still in use in mountainous regions. Animal transport is in those regions where there is either lack of road and road vehicles or transportation charges are high.
(2). Land Transport by Railways:
Railway transport is a major means of movement of passengers and goods around the world. Almost all the countries have modern railway networks. Railway wagons carry goods within a region at extremely low costs. Railway transport is very popular in countries located in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
(3). Land Transport by Road Vehicle:
Road transport is a major means of movement of passengers and goods around the world. Road transport provides a cheap and quick mode of transportation of goods on national and continental routes. Present modern states possess large road networks which connect important cities, towns and villages. Now, motorways and highways have also been built by several countries to facilitate trade. Concrete metalled roads keep the traffic open around the year.
(4). Transportation through Inland Waterways:
Inland waterways also play important role as a means of transportation. These waterways include the rivers, canals and lakes. Out of these, the rivers have been facilitating transport since ancient times. This is why most of the cities were built on river banks such as Egypt, Baghdad, Venice, New York, Budapest, Paris and Agra etc.
(5). Ocean Transport:
Majority of the world trade is carried out through ocean transport. Large cargo ships belonging to dozens of shipping companies carry all sorts of goods to all parts of the world. For this purpose, the oceans and seas provide open routes of these ships. According to the international laws, all the countries are entitled to used open sea routes of shipping purposes. Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, The Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, Adreatic Sea, Aegean Sea, North Sea, South China Sea, Bay of Be gal, Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea provide excellent facilities for ocean transportation. Out of these, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean play major role.
(6). Air Transportation:
Air transportation provides the quickest means of carrying cargo and passengers it distant places. Presently, large cargo airlines of many companies fly on all the routes in the world. These aircraft can carry millions of tons of freight to their destinations. Large international airports are available at major cities to handle flights of these aircrafts. Commercial aviation is in service since the First World War. The passenger aircraft fly at a height of 36,000 ft at a speed of 800 km per hour. Air Traffic Control Centers at the airports, control the aricraft which land or take off from the runways. Major airlines of the world includethe following:
- Aeroflot (Russia)
- Air Canada (Canada)
- Air France (France)
- British Airways (UK)
- British /Overseas Airways Corporation/ COAC (UK).
- Cathy Pacific Airways (Hong Kong)
- China Air (China)
- Garuda Indonesia Airways (Indonesia)
- Gulf Air (Bahrain)
- Lufthansa (Germany)
- Pakistan International Air Line (Pakistan).
- Swissair (Switzerland).
Major Shipping Lanes of the World:
Natural and man-made water routes benefit international trade by providing quick sailing times and an easier, cost-effective way to move goods. The eight routes below give a glimpse into some of the busiest and most popular shipping lanes for ocean cargo vessels.
- The English Channel (Connect North Sea and Atlantic Ocean)
- Strait of Malacca (Pacific and Indian Ocean)
- Panama Canal (connects Pacific and Atlantic Ocean)
- Suez Canal (Connect Atlantic and Indian Ocean)
- Bosphorus Strait (Connects Black sea with Marmara Sea)
- Strait of Hormuz (Connects Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman)
- The Danish Strait (connects North Sea and Baltic Sea)
- Saint Lawrence Seaway (connects Atlantic Ocean with Great Lakes)