The goods produced at one place may be used or consumed at various places as the markets for goods now-a-days are spread over length and breadth of the country and even extend to countries across the border. Hence the goods have to be carried from place of production to the place of consumption or use.

The process of carrying goods and passengers from one place to another is termed as ‘transportation’ and the mode used there for are roadways, railways, airways and water ways. Transportation facilitates trading activities to create place utility to goods by removing the barriers of distance (hindrance of place) between production and consumption.

Importance of Transportation

  1. Transport plays a very important role in distribution of goods both within a country and across the borders.

  2. Transport helps in bringing about stable and uniform prices in different markets as traders are able to adjust the supply of goods at different places according to the changing demand.

  3. Consumers have the benefit of getting goods at their door step and have a wider choice of goods at competitive prices.

  4. It ensures continuous supply of raw materials to the industry.

  5. It contributes to growth of large scale industries by facilitating the inflow of materials and outflow of finished goods.

  6. International competition is encouraged with the improved transport system. This makes global markets accessible to sellers and buyers of different countries.

Modes of Transport

While travelling from one place to another you can use a car, a bus or a train. People also use boat, ship, aircraft for their movement. These are all various means through which we move from place to place. All these means of transport need the support of a particular medium or mode through which it will travel.

For example, a truck needs the support of road, an aeroplane needs the support of air and a ship needs water to travel. So the modes of transport can be classified as:

  1. Road transport
  2. Rail transport
  3. Water transport
  4. Air transport

1. Road Transport

Transport by road is undertaken through animals (horses, camels, donkeys), vehicles drawn by animals (bullock-carts), and by Motor Vehicles (Vans, trucks, etc.). Use of animals and vehicles drawn by animals have limited use only in rural areas. Vans are limited to local transports within the city. Most goods traffic moves through trucks which are considered convenient, economical and safe.

2. Rail Transport

Rail transport refers to movement of passengers and goods by trains which are on railway tracks laid for the purpose. In terms of carrying capacity over long distances rails transport is economical and safe. In India, railways are owned by government of India and most commonly used mode of goods transport.

3. Water Transport

Water transport refers to movement of goods and passengers on waterways by using various means like boats, steamers, launches, ships, etc. This movement may takes place inside the country or from one country to another.

Movement of goods through inland waterways in India is highly limited because of unavailability of inland water ways and limited facilities. Transportation by sea and ocean is quite common in coastal areas and for international trade. It is relatively more economical for bulky goods to be carried over long distance.

4. Air Transport

Movement of goods and passengers by using air crafts is termed as air transport. It is the speediest mode of transport and is mostly used for carrying passengers. As for goods, air transport is mostly used for goods of high value and low volume such as medicines, spare parts for machinery, electronic components, etc. With the provision of large cargo planes, the use of air transport for goods has considerably increased within the country and for international trade.