Inthe modern business world, key aspects have massively contributed tothe development and growth of the business development. One of theseaspects is transportation, which has tremendously become an integralpart of the globalization. Simply, transport is the movement of goodsand services from one place to another by any means oftransportation. With the massive development globally, there has beenan increased demand for goods and services from one place to another.More so, the aspect of industrialization has equally led to massivegrowth in the transport sector globally, with the developingcountries being on the gain in terms of growing demand of intermodaltransportation.
Historically,transportation has been a significant contributor to the developmentof civilizations since it enables people to improve themselves byinteraction, which was commonly promoted by the need for trade.Transportation, in its simplest definition, is the movement of goods,people, and animals from one location to another. Discoveries in thisfield have gradually made the movement from one place to anotherfaster and less time consuming. But with the continuous populationincrease and the need to move over long distances has made transport,especially by road costly and time-consuming (Reniers &Zamparini, 2012). Countries should, therefore, facilitate andencourage the use of more than one mode of transport, which is aproven way of reducing transport time and cost since it compensatesfor the weaknesses of various transport options. This paper focuseson the aspect of transportation, addressing the growing sector ofintermodal transportation.
Movingpeople and goods using more than one mode of transport is referred toas intermodal transportation. In most cities public transportation isconsidered to be the most efficient means available considering theincreasing traffic congestions. Public transport involves travelingon buses, trains, subways, trolleys, and ferries which provide a highcapacity to transport people. Intermodal commuting is keen on gettingpeople to use public transportation and, if, necessary, usingautomobiles or bicycles to get to places offering these facilities.Governments often try to encourage people to travel using publictransport. Park-and-Ride, which often refers to providing car parkingat train and bus stations, is one attempt at achieving this. Thismeans that commuters can then use buses and trains to transit intothe city center area (Turnbull, 1995 Qin, Guan & Yan, 2015).Park-and-ride facilities depend mainly on their location and parkingcharges. The location should be secure and convenient for its usersusually, close to residential areas, with waiting for areas ortoilets. The potential saving of using the facilities should outweighthe inconvenience of changing between modes (Gubbins, 2003).
Commuterscan also use bicycles to get to and from areas that offer publictransportation. Bus and train stations offer secure bicycle parkingfacilities (Stranieri, 2008). Folding bicycles are sometimes allowedon such buses and trains. Another way of encouraging the use ofpublic transport is linking the train system to the bus network.“Feeder buses” allow commuters to get to areas that don’t havea rail. Often, these areas are far for commuters to walk. Effectivefeeder bus networks are designed to ensure that commuters get totrain stations before the train arrives, allowing them to board ontime (Almasi et al, 2014). Mixed mode transport can also be used forvery long distances. Automobiles are commonly used to commute toairports, train stations, and piers. Airports are now being linked torailway networks offering the added advantage of not having to getstuck in traffic jams or contending for parking space at the airport.Recently, aircraft, ferries, and trains have started offeringservices that allow passengers to carry their cars to their finaldestination this is advantageous for commuters who travel to areasthat are inaccessible to cars.
Advantagesof mixed mode commuting are rapid transit, especially in urban areaswhich are prone to traffic jams. Intermodal commuting reduces fueland maintenance cost for automobile users. Environmental benefitsinclude a decreased amount of carbon emissions owing to thedecreasing use of vehicles. Bicycles are less costly to maintain thancars they offer more room to navigate through traffic jams.Intermodal commuting relies on coordination this is both anadvantage and disadvantage. The coordinated modal change allowscommuters to move conveniently from one place to another with minimalinterruptions (Almasi et al, 2014). However, problems in scheduling,for example, when a bus or train is late is an inconvenience for thecommuter. Another limitation of intermodal transport is whencommuters are subjected to unfavorable weather.
Freightmovement is a significant economic activity that enables tradebetween regions or countries and even continents. Containerization inthe early twentieth-century under the International Chamber ofCommerce was a major development in freight transportation.Regulations demanded that containers be built to allow for handlingusing lifting gear. Containers can be transported by water, road orrail. Intermodal containers were designed in the 1950s in the USA.Gradually more investments have been made in intermodal freighttransport owing to the significant rise in the number of containers(Dienel, 2004). Intermodal freight transport refers to the movementof freight using multiple modes of transportation usually withouthandling of the freight itself when transferring between modes.Benefits of intermodal freight transport, reduce damage to goodssince there is little handling. It also improves on security andrapid transit of the freight (Lowe, 2005).
Withthe recent trends in the intermodal transportation such as theupgrading of the rail networks and services, new opportunities haveemerged for shippers such as low cost, consistent access to capacityas well as the development of reliable service. More so, thedevelopment has resulted in increased security. However, with theincreasing use of intermodal transportation, there has been anincreased concern for environment-friendly with increasedreliability, capacity and safety advantage. The development ininformation technology is equally contributing to making theintermodal more attractive. New technology in rail terminals alsocontributed to streamlining of several aspects of the intermodaltransport. It has in turn been used to replace the more costly modesof moving goods such as the use of the truck.
Inconclusion, there are disadvantages of intermodal transportation.However, the advantages far outweigh them. Planners should designnetworks that encourage commuters to use public transport systems.Low-cost parking spaces at bus and train stations promote mix modecommuting. Public transportation is also a major revenue source formost countries. Economically, it has proved to be important in growthand trade this should offer enough incentive for the continuousinvesting and improvements of intermodal transport systems. For thedeveloping countries, the transportation industry has become an idealplatform for the growth of the industry. In summary, the growth anddevelopment of the transport sector globally has been a platform forthe growth and development of countries globally.
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