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Transportation or Transport simply means movements of something or even somebody from one place to another place of choice. Actually ‘trans ‘indicates movement between two.  For example, translation means moving from one language to another language; transmission means moving from place , say Radio Station , to the end-user, the listener;  transgender means from one sex to another sex.

In supply chain, transportation means movement of goods, raw materials, finished products to another specific location, say a manufacturing centre or a warehouse or even to an outlet to the end-user, the customer.

It is said the Americans use ‘transportation’ more than ‘transport’.

You might come across the phrase ‘Line haul’ and Delivery of goods.  Local transportation of goods is usually called delivery of goods which also involves transport. But if the goods move from one city or state to another city or state, it is generally called line haul and not delivery of goods.  Local distributions , that is, movements of goods from a local store to your home come under local distribution, something moving intra city, within the city.

Today, industrialists, particularly port operators, have begun talking about last mile connectivity.  Generally, last mile transport refers to the last leg of the journey of the product-transport ending in the customer.  It means final part of the transport which takes the product directly to the customer.  With regard to the ports, it means the containers with the cargo, the commodities, reaching the port by road. Often when the road is congested with heavy traffic, it is difficult for the container-trucks to move about quickly.  So, the port authorities have started asking for separate road facility for the container-trucks to move hassle-free smoothly to the port and the specific gate for them.

In supply chain, transport occupies a very important place because products are not produced in places where they are consumed. Production happens somewhere which may be near or far and the consumer of the product is quite far away and in different places as well.  Taking the product therefore to the consumer, the customer is the primary role of the transport without which no business is possible.

Road transport has both advantages and disadvantages; we will discuss them in our next session. 

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