A goods truck. Image credit continental-truck-tires.com

A goods truck. Image credit continental-truck-tires.com

ZIMSEC O Level Commerce Notes: Transport: Factors which affect the mode of transport

Factors which determine the mode of transport to carry goods

  • The nature of the goods:
  • For example perishable goods such as bread and meat needs fast transport e.g. air transport or refrigerated trucks to ferry them to the market.
  • Bulky goods such as minerals like coal need transport that can carry them to the market cheaply for example rail transport.
  • Liquids such as fuel need special containers or can be carried in pipelines where these exist.
  • Fragile goods like glass needs special gentle transport that encounters little turbulence and special packaging to prevent it from breaking.
  • Valuable goods such as jewellery should be transported using secure transport.
  • The urgency of delivery for example relief programs in areas affected by natural disasters like earthquakes need to reach those in need quickly or there will be more fatalities.
  • The distance to be covered when ferrying the goods.
  • The cost of transporting the goods i.e. some modes of transport can be affected by:
  • distance
  • insurance costs
  • risks involved
  • the amount of labour involved.
  • The cost of the mode of transport for example air transport is typically expensive when compared to rail transport.
  • The accessibility of the source and destination.
  • The availability and possibility of return load.
  • The availability of the mode of transport in the circumstances and place e.g. you cannot use rail transport in areas that have no railway lines.
  • The security of the mode of transport as some modes of transport are susceptible to theft for example people in remote villages in Nigeria often create leaks and pilfer fuel from pipelines.

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