What are Modes of Transport and What Is Their Importance in the Logistic Process?

Abdul Rimaaz
5 min readAug 2, 2021

Knowing what modes of transport are, which are the most common and what is their importance for the company’s logistics sector is essential to ensure the movement of goods, according to the specific characteristics and needs of each case.

There are different types of transport modes, so it is necessary to know the main strengths and weaknesses of each one, in order to optimize delivery processes and also avoid financial losses. In this article, we are going to talk about the subject and address the main types of transport modes, in order to provide relevant information that can help in making decisions about the company’s logistics management. Read on and follow along!

What are modes of transport?

In a simplified way, we can say that the modes of transport correspond to the ways used for the products and goods to be taken from the address where they are manufactured to their final recipient. This process must be thought through with due attention by the logistics sector of each company, since, if it is not done correctly, it can result in losses in the quality of the product.

What do the concepts of modal, intermodal and multimodal transport mean?

As companies deliver to different (and often distant) places, it may happen that they adopt the following modes of transport:

· Unimodal: only one modality is used;

· Intermodal: there is a variation of the modality in different stretches of the journey made by the merchandise, and for each modal and/or stretch a specific contract is made;

· Multimodal: more than one mode is used during the journey, but all are governed by a single contract.

What are the types of transport modes?

The mode of transport used by NYC Commercial Moving Company can vary according to several factors, such as distance, place of delivery, cargo fragility, deadline, etc. Among the main modes of transport are:

Rail transport mode

Rail transport is a good option when there is a need to transport large-volume loads that have recipients at a fixed location and long distances covered. It is widely used to transport commodities such as agricultural products, steel, iron ore and oil derivatives, among others.

Advantages of modal rail transport

· low cost, due to cheaper fuels and lower tax incidence;

· high security in cargo transportation;

· Low risk of accidents.

· Disadvantages of modal rail transport

· low flexibility due to routes, which need to be fixed;

· need for another means of transport to complete the delivery of the goods, as usually happens;

· In United State, the lack of investments in infrastructure by the Government.

Road transport mode

Road transport is the most used in United State, being done via vehicles (cars and trucks). The preference for this type of cargo transportation by most companies is linked to the ease of defining different routes, in addition to competitive prices, reasonable terms and the possibility of transporting different cargoes.

Advantages of modal road transport

· it is the mode of transport that receives the most government incentives ;

· easy and agile hiring;

· little bureaucracy in issuing the necessary documentation;

· Accessibility, as it can reach even the most distant places.

Disadvantages of road modal transport

· high cost of freight, due to high fuel prices and payment of tolls on the roads;

· limit on cargo carrying capacity ;

· High risks of theft, accidents, loss, etc.

Waterway transport mode — Sea transport mode

The waterway modal can also transport a large volume of cargo, over long distances, as long as the cargo is well stored and there is no urgency for delivery. It can be used together with other types of modals, such as road, so that the delivery is correctly completed.

Advantages of waterway modal transport

· small risk of robbery, theft and damage to cargo, among other damages ;

· Low shipping cost.

Disadvantages of waterway modal transport

· high product cost;

· long lead time;

· bureaucracy for cargo clearance documentation;

· insurance with high cost;

· Little government investment and oversight.

Pipeline transport mode

In this case, the transport is done by pipeline (apparent, underground and submarine). It is widely used for sending gases, granular and liquid fluids.

Advantages of modal pipeline transport

· possibility of sending large quantities of cargo over long distances;

· low operating cost;

· Safety and reliability in transport.

Disadvantages of modal pipeline transport

· high initial cost;

· high risks of large-scale environmental accidents;

· bureaucracy in the process for obtaining a license;

· Inflexibility on the route (destination needs to be fixed).

Air transport mode

It is a modal widely used by companies that need agility for long-distance deliveries and especially that have perishable products. It is also used for sending goods with high added value.

Advantages of air modal transport

· agility due to the non-influence of factors such as geographic issues and traffic, among others;

· airports located in large urban centers;

· fast delivery time;

· Little cargo movement during the process.

Disadvantages of air modal transport

· limit on the size, weight and quantity of cargo transported;

· higher cost compared to other modes;

· need access terminals;

· Needs integration with another mode of transport to finalize the delivery.

What is the importance of transport modes for a company’s logistics?

Good logistical planning is essential to improve a company’s results and increase the efficiency of the operations carried out. As each mode of transport has its own particularities, responsible managers must understand the topic and choose the option that best meets the needs of their business.

Another very important factor that needs to be considered is that, based on knowledge about the characteristics of each mode of transport, it is possible to diversify the means used for delivery and assess the impact on the company’s results.

For this, the best thing is to carry out an in-depth analysis of costs, characteristics presented by the load, operational risks, customer restrictions and deadlines, among other relevant aspects for the success of the operation.

Now that you know what modes of transport are and the main ones, you can better organize the delivery processes and ensure that each item reaches its recipient safely and in perfect condition. The more information the manager has, the more efficient decisions will be made, so it is essential to always be up to date.

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Abdul Rimaaz

MR ABDUL RIMAAZ is a Director from Hemel Hempstead. This person was born in March 1983, which was over 37 years ago. MR ABDUL RIMAAZ is British and resident in