Freight Transport Management
The first move towards promotion of intermodal transport is ensuring that road and rail networks are improved. There are good rail transport networks in Asia. The rail networks include the Trans-Asian Railway, Singapore-Kinming Rail network and the Asian Highway (Regni and Hanaoka 2011, 37). The railways were originally invented so that they could carry freight. The international connectivity of rail transport in Asia has faced one major challenge. There is the issue of break of railway gauge.
Most of the railway tracks in Asian countries have varying gauges. The common railway gauges in Asia are 1000mm, 1435m, 1067 mm, 1676 mm and 1520mm. The varying railway gauges breaks the connectivity at the boarders of the Asian countries. The different railway gauges at the borders of the Asian countries makes it completely impossible to transport rolling stock across the borders. The orders of the freight goods have to improvise a way that ensures that goods are there is continuous connectivity across the borders. The activities that take place are the borders of Asian countries are tiresome. The operations include the manual transhipment of the transported goods from one cargo wagon to another (Regni and Hanaoka 2011, 19-21).
There are principles of connectivity (transport). It is necessary for the principles to be followed to the latter. Such a move would ensure that there is continuous connectivity of railway rail from one Asian country to another. One principle of connectivity states that a good railway network should be robust, resilient, repairable and responsive ( Rose 2014, 5). The Asian countries constructed their railway many years ago when there was no international trace. However, today there is a great need of international trade between the Asian countries. The constructors of the railway lines never took into account that that uncertainty can arise at any given time. It was necessary for the constructors to build the railway networks that are resilient, robust and repairable.
The Asian railways have not been repaired at the borders so as to allow for freight connectivity from one country to another. The engineers who build the railway line failed to plan ahead and put in place a railway system that would be repairable and adjustable. If the principle of connectivity would have been observed by the then engineers who built the Asian railway line then the current challenges would have been resolved with ease. The various varying railway gauges in the Asian countries would have been adjusted to a standard gauge. A standard gauge railway would have ensured that there is continuous connectivity of railway transport in the entire Asian continent ( Rose 2014, 6).
Last-mile freight delivery is the most suited for Business to business e.g. for the delivery of goods from manufacturers warehouses to retailers store. It is the most preferred because last-mile freight s capable of delivering bulky goods from oversees manufactures. Last-mile freight service is also more suitable for Business to customers (B2C) deliveries (Voortman 2004, 34). B2B is the delivery of retailers products from manufacturer’s warehouse direct to the homes of the customers. Since the emergence of online shopping, many customers have been able to order bulky commodities online from wholesale stores in foreign countries. Some of these goods may require modification on the means of transport in order for them to reach their designated locations (Partridge 2011, 177). Last-mile delivery can be adjusted to accommodate all sides of goods that may be ordered by customers. However, the delivery comes with a huge challenge in Business to customers. Retailers have been faced with the problem of building networks for delivery contractors (Smalley 1993, 43-49). As a result, the last-mile market has highly been fragmented.
Last-mile delivery use of large CTUs is better than traditional freight service in terms of better economies of scale. The use of large CTU by last-mile delivery means that more bulky goods can be transported at the same time, saving time and cost of transportation. When it comes to simultaneous multiple small deliveries that navigate through narrow lanes, traditional fright service is better in using small CTUs. It would also result in better economies of scale. Traditional freight services are designed to fit in the small and standardized roads. They are therefore able to transport goods through narrow lanes (Partridge 2011, 177).
Traditional freight service is mainly for FTL since they are designed for fixed small and medium sized goods. Traditional freight services are also designed to transport goods that fully fit onto their carrier. Last-mile deliveries on the other hand are mainly for LTL because they are meant to transport large goods as well as small sized goods.
Last mile delivery is usually for long haul delivery while traditional freight service is meant for short localised trips. Traditional freight service is mainly for break-bulk or consumer packs because the goods are in medium sizes which can fit well on freight transport services (Partridge 2011, 177). Last-mile delivery on the other hand is meant for higher level utilised loads. Higher level utilised loads are bulky and cannot easily fit on traditional freight service.
Trucks are preferred over other modes because they are able to provide door-to door services. They can carry all the customers’ goods from a given terminal and deliver them safely. Other modes mainly operate on terminal-to-terminal delivery and hence not appropriate. There are many truck drivers compared to other modes of transport.
Flexibility of road network in the areas where the customers are located is another factor that promotes the use of trucks in final delivery over other modes (Voortman 2004, 4-9). Trucks are flexible and can access areas that are inaccessible to other modes of transport (Michel 2015). Trucks have a relatively small carrying capacity which allows smooth rides to the customers’ locations.
There are different variations of trucks in terms of CTU. There are trucks with refrigeration and general cargo trucks among others. They are therefore capable of delivering many types of goods based on their nature and conditions. There are tracks designed for refrigerated commodities, general cargo, heavy cargo, commodities that are affected by changes in weather etc. The case study talks about heavy and bulky goods that are to be transported (Speed Global services 2014, 27-28). The transport requirement for this case would be trucks with CTU meant for heavy cargo. All home deliveries are not the same, customers have varying sizes and nature of goods despite the fact that they may all be heavy. Trucks therefore offer the best mode of transport in such cases (Patrice 2016, 52).
Trucks have an added advantage during loading and unloading. It is possible to de-couple the power unit that is always connected to the trailer. The efficiency of the prime mover is hence improved since the idle time of the prime mover is greatly limited.
Trucks are powered by diesel fuel which is easily available (Speed Global services 2014, 29). Diesel fuel is common since it is used to operate many machines in the manufacturing and agriculture industry. In addition, diesel is much cheaper compared to petrol. At the same time, diesel engines have greater pulling power required for heavy loads. Trucks are therefore very cost effective compared to other modes of transport.
Rose, Jonathan F.P. 2014. "5 Crucial Principles for 21st Century Transportation Systems." Citylab-infrastructure 5-6.
Madan B. Regni, and Shinya Hanaoka. 2011. "Promoting intermodal freight transport through the development of dry ports in Asia: An environmental perspective." Science Direct 13-15.
Michel, Roberto . 2015. "Logistics best practises." Logistics management 23-27.
Partridge, Amy Roach . 2011. "The last mile lasting impact." Onbound logistics 177.
Patrice. 2016. "Truck transportation." Econonord 53.
Smalley, Gary . 1993. Intermodal Freight Transportation: Combined Rail-Truck Service Offers Public Benefits, But Challenges Remain. Diane publishing.
Speed Global services. 2014. "Advantages of truck transportation." Speed global services 18-31.
Voortman, Craig . 2004. Global Logistics Management. Juta and Company Ltd
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