God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)


Transport or transportation is the movement of humans, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include airland (rail and road), watercablepipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructurevehicles and operations. Transport is important because it enables trade between people, which is essential for the development of civilizations (Wikipedia).

Transport infrastructure consists of the fixed installations, including roadsrailwaysairwayswaterwayscanals and pipelines and terminals such as airportsrailway stationsbus stationswarehouses, trucking terminals, refueling depots (including fueling docks and fuel stations) and seaports. Terminals may be used both for interchange of passengers and cargo and for maintenance (Wikipedia).

Modes of Transportation

Mode of transport is a term used to distinguish substantially different means of conveyance. The different modes of transport are airwater, and land transport, which includes railroad and off-road transport. Other modes also exist, including pipelinescable transport, and space transport (Wikipedia).

Mixed Modes

Types of Carriers

Common carriers are also known as public carriers; transportation service providers who handle shipments on a case-by-case basis, without the need for long-term agreements or contracts.

Contract carriers are transportation service providers who handle shipments for other firms based on long-term agreements or contracts.

Third-party logistics providers are service firms that handle all of the logistics requirements for other companies.

Freight forwarder is an agent who serves as an intermediary between the organization shipping the product and the actual carrier, typically on international shipments.

Custom’s broker is an agent who handles customs requirements on behalf of another firm. In the United States, customer brokers must be licensed by the Customs Services.

Measuring Logistics Performance

A “perfect order” is a term used to refer to the timely, error-free provision of a product or service in good condition.
Performance can be measured as the percentage of orders that meet the “perfect order” criteria.
Percent of perfect orders = (total orders – orders with >1 defect) / total orders

US Trade & Transportation

Transportation Service

Transportation Economics

Economic Factors

Economies of scale in transportation - the cost per unit of weight decreases as the size of a shipment increases. This is due to the use of larger capacity vehicles (rail/water) and the allocation of fixed costs over a larger base. Economy of distance - the cost per unit of weight decreases as distance increases. Also due to spreading the fixed costs across more weight miles (also known as the tapering principal).

  1. Distance - cost curve increases at a decreasing rate with distance (tapering principle)
  2. Weight - cost per unit of weight decreases as load size increases
  3. Density - higher density products are cheaper per unit of weight
  4. Stowability - how product dimensions fit into transport equipment
  5. Handling - special handling equipment increases cost if required
  6. Liability - risk of damage in transport (function of packing/type)
  7. Market - amount of shipment along the transportation lane that makes the market more or less costly to serve.

Transportation Rates & Ratings

Transportation Participants

  1. The shipper / the consignor
  2. The destination / the consignee
  3. Carriers and agents - uses shipment consolidation and coordinated pickup & delivery times to reduce cost to increase profit. Brokers and freight forwarders facilitate carrier and customer matching.
  4. Government
  5. Internet - marketplace for carriers, and matching freight capacity
  6. The public - wants a safe, environmentally responsible system


Economic Regulation

Economic regulation controlled entry, rates and services, treating each type of transportation independently. The degree of US government control over economic regulation was reduced significantly during the 1980's.'

Social Regulation