An oil pipeline. Image credit MediaWiki

An oil pipeline. Image credit MediaWiki

ZIMSEC O Level Commerce Notes: Transport: Modes of Transport: Pipeline

Pipe line transport

Advantages

  • Is a direct mode of transport:
  • Provides a direct delivery i.e. they can reach the consumer directly.
  • Is ideal for transporting liquids and gasses e.g. LP gas and Petrol.
  • It is a fast mode of transport.
  • It moves large volumes of gas and liquids.
  • It protects liquids form contamination and pollution.
  • Prevents fluids from freezing.
  • It is very safe i.e.:
  • There is less danger of loss of the liquid through things like evaporation during transportation.
  • Risk of theft and pilferage during transportation is reduced.
  • Cheap to maintain because of very low operational costs.
  • Saves on labour.
  • Can be used for carrying alternative liquids.

Disadvantages

  • It is expensive to build up a pipeline.
  • It is not ideal for transporting small and irregular cargo for example cooking oil.
  • It is limited to the transportation of liquids although coal pipelines do exist.
  • Is a one-way traffic system and thus return loads are not possible.
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    Are susceptible to attacks during times of war for example the Renamo bandits constantly threatened Zimbabwe’s pipelines in Mozambique in the late 1980s.

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    Requires additional pumping stations where the gradient is steep.

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    Loss of liquid may be very high in the event of leaks developing.

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    Leads to unemployment as it is a labour saving method.

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