Transportation means in our life is a non separable part of any society. It exhibits a very close relation to the style of life, the range and location of activities and the goods and services which will be available for consumption. Advances in transportation has made possible changes in the way of living and the way in which societies are organized and therefore have a great influence in the development of civilizations.
The operation of transportation determines the efficiency of moving products. The progress in techniques and management principles improves the moving load, delivery speed, service quality, operation costs, the usage of facilities and energy saving. Transportation takes a crucial part in the manipulation of logistic. Reviewing the current condition, a strong system needs a clear frame of logistics and a proper transport implements and techniques to link the producing procedures.
For industries, logistics helps to optimize the existing production and distribution processes based on the same resources through management techniques for promoting the efficiency and competitiveness of enterprises. The key element in a logistics chain is transportation system, which joints the separated activities. Transportation occupies one-third of the amount in the logistics costs and transportation systems influence the performance of logistics system hugely. Transporting is required in the whole production procedures, from manufacturing to delivery to the final consumers and returns. Only a good coordination between each component would bring the benefits to a maximum.
Contemporary trends have underlined that economic development has become less dependent on relations with the environment (resources) and more dependent on relations across space. While resources remain the foundation of economic activities, the commoditization of the economy has been linked with higher levels of material flows of all kinds. Concomitantly, resources, capital and even labor have shown increasing levels of mobility. This is particularly the case for multinational firms that can benefit from transport improvements in two significant markets:
Improvement in the efficiency with which firms have access to raw materials and parts as well as to their respective customers. Thus, transportation expands opportunities to acquire and sell a variety of commodities necessary for industrial and manufacturing systems.
Improvement in the access to labor and a reduction in access costs, mainly by improved commuting (local scale) or the use of lower cost labor (global scale).
A common fallacy in assessing the importance and impact of transportation on the economy is to focus only on transportation costs, which tend to be relatively low (5 to 10% of the value of a good). Transportation is an economic factor of production of goods and services, implying that relatively small changes can have substantial impacts in on costs, locations and performance. An efficient transport system with modern infrastructures favors many economic changes, most of them positive. It provides market accessibility by linking producers and consumers. The major impacts of transport on economic processes can be categorized as follows:
Improvements in transportation and communication favor a process of geographical specialization that increases productivity and spatial interactions. An economic entity tends to produce goods and services with the most appropriate combination of capital, labor, and raw materials. A given area will thus tend to specialize in the production of goods and services for which it has the greatest advantages (or the least disadvantages) compared to other areas as long as appropriate transport is available for trade. Through geographic specialization supported by efficient transportation, economic productivity is promoted. This process is known in economic theory as comparative advantages.
Large scale production:
An efficient transport system offering cost, time and reliability advantages permits goods to be transported over longer distances. This facilitates mass production through economies of scale because larger markets can be accessed. The concept of “just-in-time” has further expanded the productivity of production and distribution with benefits such as lower inventory levels and better responses to shifting market conditions. Thus, the more efficient transportation becomes, the larger the markets that can be serviced and the larger the scale of production.
When transport is efficient, the potential market for a given product (or service) increases, and so does competition. A wider array of goods and services becomes available to consumers through competition which tends to reduce costs and promote quality and innovation. Globalization has clearly been associated with a competitive environment that spans the world.
Increased land value:
Land which is adjacent or serviced by good transport services generally has greater value due to the utility it confers to many activities. In some cases, the opposite can be true if related to residential activities. Land located near airports and highways, near noise and pollution sources, will thus suffer from corresponding diminishing land value.
Transport also contributes to economic development through job creation and its derived economic activities. Accordingly, a large number of direct (freighters, managers, shippers) and indirect (insurance, finance, packaging, handling, travel agencies, transit operators) employment are associated with transport. Producers and consumers take economic decisions on products, markets, costs, location, prices which are themselves based on transport services, their availability, costs and capacity.
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