What is the difference between intermodal and transmodal transportation?

Type your answer here (50 to 100 words).

Intermodal transportation starts at the source and incorporates both land and water transport modes including rail, road, and marine. Transmodal transportation, on the other hand, is only limited to land transport mechanisms including rail alone. Both transport models start at the source and end at the destination. However, the intermodal proceeds to road, rail, and then marine before getting to the destination. The transmodal only proceeds to rail and rail again before getting to the destination.

Explain under what circumstances intermodal transportation is used.

Type your answer here (50 to 100 words).

Intermodal transport is preferred over transmodal transport under the following circumstances:

  • When the goods are intermediate and finished in load units of less than 25 tons.
  • When there’s a sequence of connected infrastructure/ an intermodal transport chain.
  • When the distance to be covered is above 500kms; longer than one day of trucking.
  • Load consists of intermediate cargo values; cargo that are neither low nor high value shipments.
  • Cargo flows are continuous and in similar quantities.

Explain how distance and cost are factors in selecting a specific transport mode.

(Using slides 8, 9 & 10) Type your answer here. (About 200 words).

The type of transport mode to use is influenced by several factors including cost, distance, and availability. However, the most outstanding factors are distance and cost. Some transport modes like water and rail are more suited for longer distances. Road and air, on the other hand, are better placed for perishable commodities that need to reach their destinations quickly. Distance is an integral factor that should be considered when selecting a specific transport mode. This is because the distance travelled determines the cost of transportation. Longer distances will normally cost more than shorter distances when using a similar transport mode. Road should be considered for shorter distances since it’s more readily available and relatively cheaper than the other modes. Fairly longer distances should shift attention to rail transport. It costs way lower than covering the same distances on road. Secondly, the cargo can be ferried all at once regardless of volume due to the capacity of rail to handle larger product quantities. Very long distances would require marine transport since rail and road cannot cover inter-continental transportations. Cost per unit of product will either increase or reduce the cost of goods sold and as such cheaper and equally efficient options should be preferred.

Part B – Containerization

What is the difference between “weighting out” versus “cubing out” in containerized transportation?

Type your answer here (50 to 100 words).

Weighing out refers to a scenario whereby the maximum weight limit has been reached in cargo but space is still available in the container. This might occur when transporting very heavy materials with small volumes such as metals and rocks. Cubing out, on the other hand, refers to a scenario when the container is completely filled with cargo but the maximum weight limit has not been reached. This occurs when dealing with very voluminous products that have lighter weights.

Why container flows are imbalanced and what happens with empty containers?

Type your answer here (50 to 100 words).

Container flows are imbalanced because of the effect of empty containers. Container flows refers to the mobility of containers in a port or depot where multiple containers are handled simultaneously plying different routes. When containers are emptied, they become less useful since transporting them back to the producer is equally as expensive as transporting the fully loaded container. The management of empty containers results in an imbalance in container flows. Empty containers can either be reused or discarded and recycled for other usages.

Discarded containers have many uses. Searching the web, provide some examples about how containers can be reused.

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Discarded containers can be brilliantly turned into very important assets. Some ingenious uses of discarded containers include malls. These containers are designed in such a way that they can be fully opened hence allowing for the full showcasing of items on sale. These containers can also be turned into libraries due to their shape that allows for perfect storage of books. They can even be turned into mobile libraries due to their nature of being easily transportable. Lastly, the containers can be turned into refrigerated fruits and vegetables carriers. They can further be used as miniature gardens and grow rooms.

The container has several advantages and drawbacks. Provide a succinct explanation of the advantages and drawbacks you think are the most important.

Type your answer here. (About 200 words).

The container has several advantages that make it a prime transportation mode for international supply chains. Firstly, containers are a form of fast transportation at a low cost. The container is treated as the unit of transportation and not the individual items contained in it. As such, it can be shipped quickly as all information needed for checks is detailed on the outside of the container on a sticker or note. It also bears a significant economic benefit to both senders and recipients over other forms of transport. Secondly, containers are a secure form of transport with low energy requirements. Once sealed, the container is safe from bad weather, physical temperance, and adverse effects during handling. Thirdly, it is a very versatile and flexible form of transport. It can be used over both large and small distances and ferry both large and small quantity loads.

The disadvantages of container transportation include physical constraints such as high temperatures and lack of ventilation which can cause damage to products. Secondly, the container is limiting since all merchandise that does not resemble the dimensions, weight, and volumes of the containers have to be rejected. Lastly, container transportation is risky especially when plying pirate prone waters. Several containers have been seized by pirates and huge amounts of compensations demanded for the release of the cargo.