After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of Transport 2. Importance/Advantages/Benefits of Transport 3. Types 4. Rail-Road Competition 5. Comparative Study of the Different Means of Transport.

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Meaning of Transport
  2. Essay on the Importance/Advantages/Benefits of Transport
  3. Essay on the Types of Transport
  4. Essay on the Rail-Road Competition
  5. Essay on the Comparative Study of the Different Means of Transport

Essay # 1. Meaning of Transport:

Transport means the movement of goods and persons from one place to another. Transport is the physical means whereby goods are moved from the point of production to the place where they are required for consumption.

Assembling and dispersion of goods are done with the help of one or the other mode of transport. It is an important part of commerce as it helps in removing the hindrance of distance. The road, rail, river, canal, ocean and air transport, all contribute to commerce by enabling goods to be sent where and when they are required.


No country can progress without efficient and sufficient facilities of the transport. It has been rightly said, “If agriculture and industry are the body and bones of national organism, transport and communications are its nerves.”

According to Prof. Marshall, “The transport industries, which undertake nothing more than movement of persons and things from one place to another, have constituted one of the most important activities of men in every stage of advanced civilization.”

Essay # 2. Importance/Advantages/Benefits of Transport:

The advantages provided by transport can be studied in the following manners:

1. Transport helps in the distribution of goods in wider market and thus creates greater demand for the goods.


2. It helps in bringing the stability in the price level by transporting the goods from the places of plenty to the places where they are required.

3. It helps those industries which produce perishable goods like meat, fishing, dairy farming, etc.

4. Transport helps in reducing the cost and increases the purchasing power.

5. Improved means of transport benefit the consumers in many ways. The consumers can enjoy the benefits of use of many goods (which cannot be produced at their place) by transporting such goods from other distant places.


6. It has also helped the growth of cities and urban areas, and maintains a link with distant areas.

7. It helps in the mobility of labour and capital.

8. It helps in the increase of production and thereby raising the standard of living of the people.

9. Transport helps the people of different regions to come in contact with each other. It encourages exchange of ideas and promotes co-operation, cordial relations and understanding amongst the people of the world.


10. It helps in increasing the national wealth and income of a nation. It is also a source of revenue to the government.

11. It provides employment to millions of people throughout the world.

Essay # 3. Types of Transport:

Transport may be classified into four categories. They are:

A. Road transport


B. Rail transport

C. Water transport

D. Air transport.

These transport are described below.

A. Road Transport:


Road transport is a very quick means of transport over short distances. It is also cheaper means of transport over shorter distances. Bus and truck services can be as frequent as one may like. This is not possible in other means of transport.

Road transport takes less time for carrying goods from one place to another and thus it helps the businessmen in increasing their turnover. It is more flexible than other means of transport. It provides complete service to the businessmen.

But this means of transport is not suitable for longer distances. This means of transport is subject to frequent breakdowns and also difficult to operate during the rainy days. It is irregular and in dependable means of transport because this does not have schedule of timings.

B. Rail Transport:

Railway can carry men and goods over very long distances. It is only the railway transport that can cope with the traffic of heavy machine and materials. Changes in weather do not affect railways. This advantage is not found in other means of transport.


Rail transport is more safe as compared with other means of transport. It is more regular. It is the cheapest form of transport for carrying bulky goods over long distances.

But this means of transport is costlier for short distances and for small traffic. It is not flexible. It requires heavy investment, so it cannot operate economically in the rural areas where traffic is not adequate. The initial expenditure on railway is very high and this results in high overhead costs.

C. Water Transport:

In water transport initial investment is not required and moreover the maintenance cost also is less. Sea transport is the only feasible means of transport so far as bulky goods are concerned. On natural water ways like rivers and oceans the cost of transportation is less.

But this means of transport faces greater risk of storms and other hazards of the sea. This form of transport is slow in speed. It cannot be operated throughout the year due to the monsoon or drying up in some parts of the year.

D. Air Transport:

Air transport is most suitable for carrying goods of perishable nature which require quick delivery. It is also suitable for light goods of high value such as gold, diamonds, jewellery, etc. It provides a regular, convenient, efficient and quick service.


Air transport helps in transporting goods to areas inaccessible by any other means of transport. In the event of stoppage of other means of transport due to flood, earthquake or other natural calamities, air transport is the only means of transport which provide articles of necessities.

But it is uncertain and unreliable means of transport as it is controlled to a great extent by weather conditions. The cost of operation of air transport is higher as compared to other means of transport. Due to greater degree of possibility of accident this means of transport is considered to be dangerous.

The fares of air transport are the highest and it is beyond the reach of a common man. This means of transport is not suitable to carry cheap and bulky goods. The construction and maintenance of aero drums require a large amount of capital investment.

Essay # 4. Rail-Road Competition:

Since the beginning of motor transport there has been a keen competition between rail and road transports. This competition took very serious turn in almost all the countries of the world during 1930s. This competition gave rise to serious problems in some countries like USA, Australia and England.

There are numerous factors which are responsible for rail-road competition. Both rail and road transports have their own advantages and disadvantages.

If these two modes of transport are left to compete with each other, road transport is bound to have an upper hand over the rail transport because of the following reasons:


1. The cost of construction, operation and maintenance of road or motor transport is much less than the rail transport.

2. Road transport is more flexible as compared to rail transport. Road transport provides door to door service which saves cartage, loading and unloading expenses to the customer. Route and time schedules can easily be adjusted according to the individual requirement.

3. Road transport takes less time for carrying goods from one place to another and thus it helps the businessmen in increasing their turnover.

4. Freight rates are higher in case of railways as compared to roadways particularly for short distances. Hence, short distance traffic is attracted towards road transport.

5. Rail transport is unsuitable for short distances. That is why short distance traffic is diverted to road transport.

6. In rail transport, as goods are loaded, unloaded and reloaded at different points, the risk of theft, loss or damage of goods in transit is more as compared to road transport.


7. In case of rail transport, a large number of formalities have to be observed both at the time of despatch and delivery of goods. Hence, it is easier to send goods through road transport companies than through railways.

Solution to Rail-Road Competion:

The best solution to the rail-road competition is to have proper co-ordination between these two means of transport. In England and America, there are special legislations to eliminate rail-road competition and to provide for better co-ordination between the two modes of transport.

In the words of Sir William Acworth, “Co-ordination is the proper co-relation of the different modes of transport as between themselves, so as to secure that the public gets the best service at the cheapest rate by the use of the form of transport which is most efficient in the particular case.”

Co-ordination of transport system is preferable to competition between them, because co-ordination of transport brings about the following advantages:

1. Better utilisation of scarce resources.

2. Wasteful competition alongwith all its evils can be eliminated.


3. Efficient transport services at lower cost become possible.

4. Co-ordination helps in serving the vital needs of the nation.

Co-ordination between rail and road transports is most desirable. They are complementary to each other and mutually helpful also. Without a network of roads, no railway can get sufficient traffic for its economical working. Similarly, the most efficient road transport cannot, without the help of the railway, connect effectively the cultivators with the agricultural goods market.

Essay # 5. Comparative Study of the Means of Transport:

The following factors should be taken into consideration while choosing a particular means of transport:

i. Cost:

Water transport is comparatively a cheaper means of transport for carrying heavy and bulky goods over long distances, particularly when time is not an essential element. Rail transport ranks second in terms of cost of service.

It is cheaper than road transport for carrying bulky goods over long distances. Road transport is the cheapest means of transport for small goods which are to be carried over short distances. Air transport is the most costly means of transport and its capacity is limited. It is suitable only for carrying perishable, light and valuable goods.

ii. Speed:


Air transport is the quickest means of transport while water transport is the slowest means of transport. Road transport is quicker than the rail transport over short distances. Goods can be loaded direct into a road vehicle and transported straight to their destination. Rail transport is faster than road transport over long distances.

iii. Flexibility:

Road transport has the great advantage over all other means of transport for its flexible service. Road transport is capable of providing door-to- door services. Its routes and timing can be adjusted to individual requirements. Other means of transport like water, rail and air transport are not flexible and cannot provide door-to-door service. Road transport also acts as a complementary service to other means of transport. 

iv. Regularity:

Rail transport is most certain, regular and uniform as compared to other means of transport. It is not influenced by weather conditions. Other means of transport like water, road and air transport are influenced by weather conditions and are not dependable means of transport.

The effect of weather on road transport is comparatively less as compared to water transport and air transport. Air transport is most uncertain and unreliable means of transport. Unfavourable weather may cause cancellation of scheduled flights.

v. Safety:

Road transport is the safest means of transport. Rail transport also provide sufficient safety to goods. Water transport and air transport are the most risky means of transport.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that:

1. Road transport is particularly suited for carrying goods which are not very cheap or bulky and over short distances. It is also suited for carrying perishable goods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk, etc.

2. Rail transport is suited for carrying heavy and bulky goods over long distances.

3. Water transport is the best means of transport for carrying heavy and bulky goods of low price which do not require quick delivery.

4. Air transport is suited for carrying perishable, valuable and light articles of high value such as gold, jewellery, etc. which require quicker delivery.