Know the Kinds of Modes of Transportation

  • February 8, 2021
  • Blog

As a supplier, you are eager to send your consignment but have no idea how to go about it. You will definitely try to find out the available modes of transportation that can help move the consignment to your consignee seamlessly. Of course, the best mode of transportation is necessary, but the other factors that have to be taken into consideration are:

  1. The total cost
  2. The urgency of the shipment
  3. The size and weight
  4. The kind of material transported

These are important, but there are many other parameters to be thought about. In this article, we present the different modes of transportation available to move your cargo and freight from one destination to another one.

Ocean transport

Ocean or sea transport is the most preferred mode, even though it takes a longer transit time. It is used extensively for the transportation of bulk and heavy commodities like machinery and agro and oil products.  It is also a preferred mode of transport for high-volume cargo such as minerals, coil, steel, etc., which is not possible in air freight.
When it comes to cost, ocean freight is less expensive.
Moreover, in today’s world, where businesses are looking at the environmental impact of shipping, ocean freight is considered a greener mode of transport when compared to air freight service which emits a higher amount of polluting gases.

Key features of ocean freight include:

  • Environment friendly
  • Cost-effective
  • Suitable for large and heavy volumes
  • Can carry a wide variety of products
  • Extensive connectivity around the globe
  • Multiple carrier options for the shippers

Air transport

Air transport is best used for speedy delivery. Industries like the automotive and retail industry utilize air freight to complete the JIT (just in time) inventory replenishment. It provides flexibility and reduces storage costs.
Airfreight is completely utilized by shippers who transport perishable items like food, flowers, and pharma products. The good thing about air freight is that there’s less handling of cargo thus avoidance of damage or any loss of product.
But even air freight has its disadvantages as being the costliest mode of travel due to speed and fuel consumption. In addition, air mode cannot carry heavy and large items, and even the regulatory body limits what could and what could not be carried by air.

Key features of air transport

  • Speedy movement
  • Less handling of cargo
  • Security of cargo
  • Reliable arrival and departure
  • Less documentation

Rail transport

A green transport option is ‘Rail’, as it burns less fuel per ton-mile compared to vehicles on a road. However, there are some additional costs that are incurred in a train journey: at every stopover, a road delivery is required and there will be an expense on lifting the cargo and moving it to the containers between the train and the road vehicle.

Key features of rail transport

  •  Reliable transit times
  • Assists in alleviating road congestion
  • Security and safety
  • Cost-effective deliveries
  • Can easily carry consignment equivalent to 400 trucks in on the train

Road transport

Road freight is the most popular mode of transport, widely used across the world. It does require a few mandatory documents to seamlessly move goods between various states.
Key features of road transport

  • Cost-effective
  • Flexible service
  • Easy track and trace
  • Quick delivery
  • Saving on packing cost
  • Door-to-door service

Even there are a few disadvantages like it can carry only limited cargo based on size and weight restrictions. Another point is that it can be easily affected by climate change and road conditions.
The name itself suggests that multimodal means utilization of more than one mode of transport for the delivery of the consignment. It can be a combination of rail-road, or sea-road, which allows a shipper to send the consignment to the consignee in a most cost-effective manner, with optimum care and efficiency.
Another advantage of multi-modal connectivity is that the shipper can avoid demurrage fees.
Key features of multi-modal transport

  • Cargo can be easily moved to any part of the world using multi-modal transport
  • Efficient and cost-effective
  • The shipper can use 3PL services to handle multi-modal under one document

Summing up what mode of transport is the best to use
There are many options available to transport goods and one cannot say that one solution is the best. As mentioned above, each mode of transportation has its own benefits and drawbacks. 
The transportation one can choose depends on the many factors, analyzing & understanding the shipment and comparing costs of each mode or multi-mode. Comparative study always gives the best results as it can provide insights into the whole picture which allows for choosing the best mode of transport.
Find out more
There are numerous options for transporting goods. Prioritizing your needs and comparing costs is important when planning your shipment. To learn more about how you can manage your freight online just click here. Also, to stay current on the latest industry news and trends, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media. Twitter & LinkedIn