Different types of goods and products are transported every day to different kinds of destinations around the world. It is not unusual to see a supplier delivering packages to a store, a delivery truck delivering an order placed online, or a big truck with pallets of materials travelling from one part of the country to another.
For decades, overland transport (also known as road transport) has been one of the most commonly employed means of transportation in the logistics chain. This is because it allows companies to carry a wide variety of products using different types of transport, such as trucks, railroads, vans, cars, motorcycles, and even bicycles.
In this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of the overland transport of goods.
Some of the most important advantages of road transport include:
- Cost. It is economical to transport goods overland. It is much cheaper to use a truck than it is to use a plane or a ship. In fact, overland transport can be as much as 60% cheaper than other means of transport.
- Extensive road networks. It is not difficult to reach different parts of a country. It is even possible to arrive at remote locations within a country and even other countries that have international highways. In many cases, scheduled delivery days and next day delivery services become a viable option.
- Easier distribution. Once goods arrive at a destination, such as a port or an airport, they must be transported to their final destinations (such as a warehouse) by land.
- Choice. Given that different kinds of road transport are available, it is possible to choose the most suitable one depending on the type of products to be transported. Nowadays, thanks to the implementation of monitoring and tracking technology, it is possible to check the status and location of goods.
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It is also worth mentioning that electric vehicles are gradually increasing their presence in cities. Electric vans for the delivery of goods, for example, are less polluting and therefore better the environment. Also, railways that run on renewable energy are becoming more common.
On the other hand, there are a number of disadvantages when it comes to land transport. Some of these are:
- Speed. On the whole, land transport is slower. In fact, there are a number of factors that can seriously affect land transport: long distances, heavy traffic, or any kind of inconvenience on the road (such as protests, closed roads, and even weather conditions in some cases). All of these increase the possibility of delays in shipments. When the need arises to transport a package to a place that is located very far away, it will always be faster to do so by plane.
- Geography. The seas and oceans naturally create a border that makes it impossible to complete a journey using land transport alone. Consequently, a plane or a ship must be used to reach certain destinations.
- Greater vulnerability to accidents. Unquestionably, accidents and breakdowns can happen more frequently when using road transport, making it less predictable and secure than other modes of transport.
In summary, overland transport is an effective and convenient way to distribute and deliver a wide range of goods, and it will continue to be a crucial component in the logistics chain given its many advantages.
Do you need an International Logistics Operator to assist you with overland transport? At IFS, we have years of expertise advising companies on how to transport their goods based on their specific requirements. Contact us and for more information about our services.