Transportation Methods

Ways of transport

Factors in choosing the mode of transport

The factors involved in choosing the mode of transport are:

•  Customer

•  Products

•  Time Margins

•  Cost / Profit

•  The Services Provided

•  Managing the Products

•  Geographic factors

•  Other restrictions

Each factor as well as various combinations of factors could be a good reason to prefer a particular mode of transport instead of someone else.

Let's look at them one by one, starting with customers, without whom there would be no business activity, and then we will see the others in turn.

Customer preferences.

For whatever reason customers may wish to transfer the products in the way they choose. For example, they may have a preference on a particular ship or an airline with which they work, or ask for transport by road or rail, etc.

Sometimes they make things easier for you by indicating how to transfer to the terms of the sales contract. But even if they do not ask for it yourself, if you know their preferences, know that it is always a good commercial practice to comply with them. Unless, of course, there are good reasons why you feel that the choice of the customer is not a particularly good idea.

Particular importance should be attached to the price and density of products:




The more a product costs, the less its price is affected by transport costs.




Density expresses the combination of the weight of a product and the space it occupies. The loading area of ​​each vehicle is limited. But the weight it can carry is limited. A load of ideal density would completely cover the free space of the vehicle by weighing exactly the weight it can carry.


The nature of the products


Sometimes the products themselves dictate the way they should be used to transport them. The most important factors on the basis of which the nature of the products itself leads the choice of mode of transport are as follows:




There are products that are small in size, heavy, large or light. Other that are in liquid and other in gaseous form. Others that are fragile, or dangerous or exposed to the risk of theft. Although there may be several ways of transporting these products, one is the one that is absolutely appropriate or specifically designed for it.




Products whose quality is rapidly deteriorating must either be transported in special vehicles or arrive at their destination as long as they are still fresh. Perfect products are not just fruits, meat and fish.




Do not confuse the quantity with the density. Regardless of the weight and volume of each package of which the total load consists, if the number is large, it is likely that some vehicles will not have the necessary space for their transport

Time limits

It is likely that the products will have to be at their destination the next day for a Trade Fair or the date and time of delivery of the products to be part of the terms of the contract. In cases where delivery time is concerned, your choices in terms of mode of transport are limited.

Cost and Profit

The choice of mode of transport is usually formed mainly by transport costs. This is perfectly justifiable for cases where there is no other reason for choosing a particular way instead of someone else. However, you should consider the existence of other, not directly visible factors. There may be packaging and insurance costs that need to be taken into account.

The difference in costs between different modes of transport inland, to and from the port or train station can significantly affect overall costs. H and factors such as storage, storage time, financing, etc.


They are services that are useful for your market access that may or may not be provided. For example, the possible existence in a country of high quality port facilities where it is possible to moor any vessel or the existence of extensive storage facilities. However, if the road network outside the port is inadequate or if there is a shortage of lorries or drivers, it is certain that the distribution of the products to the buyers will be delayed. Non-provision of such services may be permanent or temporary. If for some reason the provision of necessary services is not possible only temporarily, it is possible that a short wait for their restoration will save you a lot of money. Do not believe anything! Check everything

Product Management

A shipment may require the use of more than one means, for example the combination of road and sea or road and air transport. In this case, we say that transport is done using multiple modes of transport. On such journeys, it cannot be ruled out that the products have to be transported from vehicles to warehouses and vice versa several times.

The more the handling of the products is, the more likely it is to cause some damage to them due to the risk of falling, being placed upside down, or used for transporting inappropriate lifting gear.

Especially for vulnerable and sensitive loads the risk is very high

Geography of the Place

Where the destination country is located, its basic geographic features and the distance that separates it from you are factors that need to be taken into account in the choice of mode of transport.

The weather conditions that products will encounter and which may negatively affect their quality in the destination market

Other Restrictions

They are the weak points arising from the very nature of each mode of transport. They include elements such as dimensions, functional features, and support requirements.

Dimensions Each vehicle has a limited volume and weight it can carry. Some vehicles, of course, have more features than others. For example, there are ships that are able to carry larger and heavier loads than trains.

Functional problems

Airplanes are heavily influenced by weather conditions and mechanical problems. Except for special charters, their flights and routes are fixed and it is possible that the connecting airports do not serve your company at all. On the other hand, the use of special charter routes presents other advantages and disadvantages.


Airplanes and trains also require a secondary transport of products to support them.

As a secondary transport, the required movement of the products to the port or airport is considered. The need for such services leads to waste of time, additional handling of the products and consequently more problems