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History Of Transport

Intermodal transportation is normally associated with containerization, since the growth of containerization in the mid 20th century led to multiple ways of transport being used in transporting one shipment. Nevertheless, intermodal transport goes beyond containers, as some goods are transported without using the containers. In addition intermodal transports also transport people to various destinations. Thus, intermodal transport can be defined as transportation of goods or people using more than one mode of transportation for example rail with motor or rail with water.

Factors Contributing To Intermodal Rail Transport Growth As transport needs continue to increase more traffic has continued to be transported, using various modes. Intermodal transportation using different trailer on flatcar/ container on a flatcar TOFC/COFC has also experienced increased growth. The increased use of intermodal transportation can attributed to various factors. These factors includes; changes that have occurred in the inventory management; Improved information and communication technology; Renewed interests in environment and an increase in congestion.

These are the main factors that contributed it intermodal growth. We shall examine each factor briefly. Inventory management; business that have been warehousing big amounts of inventory today have turned to “just-in-time” methods to reduce amount of inventory housed increases efficient and reduces cost of warehousing. Thus, many transportation providers are responding by resorting to intermodal transportation. It expands alternatives in shipping and allows shippers to choose the most cost effective option.

Development in Information and communication systems; has created superior tracking of shipments, and recipients, carriers and shippers are capable of getting updated information concerning shipments being transported in terms of where it has reached and when it is expected. This has increased the efficient and the need of intermodal transportation. Environment concerns; Due to many laws being passed to reduce emissions in the air intermodal transportation is continuously being adopted because of its environmental friendliness.

It has greatly reduced air pollution by reduced motor emissions in the air. Congestion; Today vehicles on the roads have highly increased; this leads top congestion on the roads leading to delays and fuel wastages. One solution that reduces this congestion is use of intermodal transportation, which lowers the volume of trucks on the roads The Effects of Ocean Shipping Reform Act Of 1998 on Ocean Conferences The “Ocean Shipping Reform Act” of 1998 (OSRA) was implemented to give maritime industry new regulations.

The main objective of OSRA was to promote a much more market directed, and effective and reliable shipping industry. The overall outcome is that the shipping industry has started to undergo structural changes since the new measures were enacted. The industry also has developed greatly, though; these changes can be attributed to the market forces factors, the OSRA have played a big role in bringing about those changes. However, there is some industry players feel that the OSRA have brought negative impact on the industry.

As for ocean conferences, the impact of the OSRA in the industry can be observed by the fact that most of shippers currently are bargaining directly with specific carriers for private service contracts, as opposed to bargaining in conferences where rates were set, or with many carriers. The OSRA have also played an important role in developing global markets, improving the services provided by the non-conference carriers and removed regulations in the industry, thus restructuring the shipping industry. This has had an effect of de-emphasis the usual conferences that existed in the industry.

Which has seen the industry realize remarkable increase in effectiveness enhancing processes of agreements, for example, vessel sharing. The act also has dramatically reduced the number of conference agreements, for instance, in 1998 there was a number of 35 conference agreements passed. But, in 2001 only 19 conference agreements were done. More agreements are currently being done through other ways, such as operational agreement which constituted of 58% of total agreements made. Another aspect that is emerging is the use of the internet which is providing an innovative way of making agreements.

In general the OSRA act lead to reduction in number of agreements being done through conference, which as increased efficiency and modernization in the shipping industry. The Role of Container in Intermodal Transportation Intermodal container is handling facilities that are normally situated at ports or at main rail centers. The containers are used to transports goods by the rail to different ports for exporting, or the rail can carry goods from the ports when imported. Container use has continuously increased, as the amount of goods being transported continues to increase.

Many ports are using containers to offer storage facilities, and a bulk goods moving becomes easier for intermodal transport system. The container plays important role in intermodal, the container play a major role in reducing the number of trucks on the roads, this leads to a lot of savings made in form of reduction in amounts being used to maintain and also rehabilitate roads. The containers also provide another way of shippers to transport export produce to the port. Containers also continue to play a role in increasing the carrying capacities and also the efficiency of the ports.

The shipment costs have gone down due to the use of containers; companies currently are paying less when exporting their products (DeBoer 1992). It is also important to note that containers has expanded the intermodal transportation by enhancing the distribution channels, this has created more job opportunities in the sector. Economic Factors That Support International Transport Economic development in the world is tied together with transportation. Today as the world continues to be interlinked with transport lines, in order to increase reliability and accessibility of world markets, transported becomes more necessary.

This trend will continue because the world is population is growing meaning more transportation needs. More and more industries all over the world are increasing their production, these industries are continuously requiring fast and efficient means of transporting their products, thus, the availability of good roads, and rail lines that can reach international air is an important factor for this companies. In many third world countries agriculture and the food sector continue to grow, the amount of surplus in these countries that needs to be exported has been gradually increasing.

It is predicting that this industry will continue to grow due to improvement being experienced in technology and better seeds, the outcome will be continuous need of international transport facilities. With overall economic growth activities being witnessed in the world, international transportation is increasingly becoming vital in the world. For example, world trade has continued to grow steadily, and the volume of goods being transported across the world continues to increase. Estimates show that in America alone, volume of goods imported increased from $213.

1 billion in 2003 to a net total of over $807 billion. The amount of goods exported rose from 24. 3 millions in metric tone in 2003 to 31. 1 in the year 2004 (DeBoer 1992). Thus, as the international trade continue to grow, so will the demand of international transport be required. The tourism industry has experienced phenomenon growth over the years. Today, the global economic mood is encouraging more people to travel around the world. The number of tourist visiting various countries has increased and will continue to grow.

The overall impact of course, is an increase transport requirements especially the air. The Role of Port Authorities in International Transport Ports are vital aspects in trade and production of country or a region, thus, there play an important role in international transportation by enhancing globalization. Ports authorities aim at representing the interest of the people by ensuring that ports are run effectively and with best practices (DeBoer 1992). To achieve this, ports authorities act as equilibrium to balance the public policies, the political powers, private sector and also the social sector.

The ports authorities ensure suitable conditions that attract more business at the port. Ports authorities have a role in improving infrastructure facilities at the ports to international standards; this can be done by modernization of the ports, and enacting international agreements. With increase in cargo being handled at the ports, the ports authorities are important in controlling and ensuring the goods and transport vessels are handling effectively to enhance international trade. Conclusion Intermodal transport is continuously becoming an important transportation mode.

It has an advantage of incorporating different modes of transport which ensures efficiency and reliability. Containers have played an important role in enhancing intermodal transportation, and will continue to improve the effectiveness of intermodal transportation. As global economy and trade continuous to grow, international transport will continue to be sought to transport goods across the world. The ORSA act of 1998 has helped to improve the efficiency in the shipment industry by reducing oceanic conference agreements.

Ports are major players in globalization and ports authorities have a task of ensuring that ports achieve this goal. In general, transportation industry plays a big role in developing the world economy.


Ballis, A. , Golias, J. , (2004): Towards the improvement of a combined transport chain performance. European Journal of Operational Research 152(2), 420-436. Barnhart, C. , Coyle, Bardi and Novack, (2005): Transport, 6th edition; South- Western Educational Publishers DeBoer, D. J. (1992): Piggyback and Containers: A History of Rail Intermodal on America’s Steel Highway. Golden West Books, San Marino, CA

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