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Transport Environmental Impacts

Transport, also called transportation, is simply the movement of people, plants, and materials from one place to another. Simply put, the act of transport is defined as any movement of a material or organ from a location A to a location B. Transport can take place inorganic or organic systems, for example, in transportation vehicles, between parallel locations, on trucks, railways, aircraft, and in large container ships. Transportation does not only refer to the transportation of people and materials; it also refers to the movement and exchange of goods, services and valuable resources. The transport of a good or service can be both physical and legal. In the physical terms, goods are moved from one location to the other, while the exchange of services occurs when two parties engage in a contract that assigns the right to transport, sale, exchange or transfer the goods, services or valuable resources between them.


The need for efficient and sustainable transport has become more important over time. Developing efficient transport infrastructures is crucial to businesses and individuals alike. Goods and services cannot be transported if their conditions are not suitable for their transportation. The transport industry is now worth billions of dollars annually, making it one of the largest industries in the world.

Developing an integrated supply chain management approach for transportation infrastructure involves several important elements. One of these is planning. Many transportation routes are set up so that one location will serve all needs of the various segments of the supply chain. Creating a network of assets and services will allow logistics professionals to determine the best route for a company’s logistics needs. Achieving this result depends on the planning of the entire supply chain.

Freight transport and rail transport differ greatly in the way they transport goods. For example, freight transport routes may begin in a single point and end at a terminal. Freight transport typically relies on an infrastructure that was built long before most current technology was created. On the other hand, rail transport relies largely on technology that is vastly improving in the wake of increasing environmental awareness. Rail transport companies may use electricity powered engines or even diesel powered engines.

Another important aspect to creating efficient transport infrastructure is the maintenance of the existing infrastructure. Maintenance of transport infrastructure requires updating roads, improving drainage systems, and laying new tracks. The creation of new roads is a large cost, especially in developed countries. In addition, maintaining existing infrastructure requires the construction of new stations. These new stations are usually linked to major cities, so transporting goods from one area to another will require major infrastructure investments.

The third element is the implementation of the right types of infrastructure. The way a company transports its goods can significantly affect its overall competitiveness. This is why companies often consult with transport consultancies to examine how transport infrastructure affects their supply chain operations. A transport consultancy will first examine the environmental impact of transport infrastructure, then identify which activities add to or reduce the environmental impact. For instance, if a company is importing a large amount of goods, it should look at the route of trucks, trains, etc., to determine whether the trucks travel over dangerous terrain, emit fuel exhaust, etc.

Another important element to examining the environmental impact of transport infrastructure is to look at the transport of freight. Freight transport generates significantly more greenhouse gas emissions than road transport. For instance, trucks transport coal and other fuels in greater amounts than any other mode of transport, including automobiles. The average vehicle travel distance is approximately thirteen miles, while the average truck travel distance is only six miles. To control the environmental impact of these vehicle travels, companies may choose to implement truck filters that prevent the emission of poisonous gasses during the transportation of goods.

Water transport involves both ocean and inland transportation of liquid materials. The first aspect to examining water transport environmental impacts is to understand the source of liquid transported. This means understanding what the resource is, whether it is freshwater seawater, or saltwater, as well as the volume and rate of transportation. Additionally, one must determine the frequency and size of the resource. Finally, to examine water transport, it is important to examine the impacts of pollution, such as chemical pollution that results from shipping shore excursions.