In human evolution, the earliest means of transport were strolling, running and swimming. Before the Industrial Revolution and modernization, water transport was the most efficient method of transporting large quantities of merchandise over significant distances however it was very sluggish and expensive. The importance of water transport led to the development of cities along rivers and sea-shores where boats, canoes and ships could moor.
The domestication of creatures and the invention of the sled gave way to early creature transport services. Horses and oxen were used from as early as 3000 BC to transport merchandise and people and traveled over soil tracks. Later civilizations, for example, the Mesopotamian and the Indus Valley fabricated paved streets for easier transport.
The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century turned transportation on its head. It was the age of numerous inventions that fundamentally changed the concept of transport. Correspondence, telegraphy, the steam engine and the steam transport sped worldwide transport every which way. Land transport became possible over large distances without the use of creature or human muscles. The Wright brothers’ successful experiments with airplane paved the way for airplanes and air transport became a faster method for transporting merchandise and people in shorter time-frames to further destinations.
Modes of transport
A ‘mode of transport’ is a method or arrangement that uses a specific type of infrastructure, operation and vehicle to transport people and freight. A mode can be used without help from anyone else or related to several other modes; in this case it is referred to ‘intermodal’ or ‘multimodal’ transport. Each is particular from the other and is used based on choice of elements like expense of transport, route taken, capacity, etc.
- Human-powered – this is the most well-known in developing and under-developed countries because of several variables like investment funds on cost, accessibility of area, actual exercise and environmental reasons. Human-powered transport is a sustainable type of transport and has recently been enhanced by the use of machinery and modern technology – e.g. cycling, skating, paddling, skiing which are extremely useful in troublesome environments.
- Creature powered – whether ridden by people or used as pack creatures for movement of people and commodities, creatures can work alone or in teams – e.g. mules, horse-trucks, canine sleds etc.
- Air – airplanes and airplane have reduced travel times considerably and is the fastest mode of passenger and merchandise transport. Significant expenses and high energy use are the downsides of air transport; however, it is estimated that over 500,000 people travel in aero-planes at some random time.
- Rail – Railroads and rail tracks run the length and breadth of every country on the planet ferrying people and merchandise from one place to another. Despite the fact that they involve the use of large measures of surface land, rail networks provide easy connectivity choices inside cities, inside countries and between different countries as a mode of public transport-e.g. New York City Subway, London Metro, Eurotunnel or the Chunnel between England and France and the Euro Rail.
- Street – street networks go through cities, towns and villages and provide better connectivity choices notwithstanding city rail networks and are ideal for public transport moreover. Street transport is entirely different from other modes as it permits a vehicle user to have complete freedom over speed, direction, timings of travel and change of area that other transport methods can’t provide. They require large surface areas, use high energy and are quite expensive.
- Water – water transport includes barges, boats, boats and ships through waterways, rivers and seas. The earliest boats and ships were routed through inland channels for transporting people and spices. Today large passenger and freight ships provide an organized and efficient transportation method. Albeit the time involved is long, water transportation is fundamentally less expensive than air or street.