FIVE THINGS TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION BEFORE CHOOSING A MODE OF TRANSPORT.
The ﬁnal destination of the goods will clearly have a direct inﬂuence on the transport service used. Certain modes of transport become a logical ‘rule of thumb’ for particular markets, unless there are reasons why other modes should be used. It is not surprising that over 80% of the UK’s exports to western Europe are by road, and that the most com-mon transport mode for our markets in developing countries is sea freight, although there is a growing use of air freight into those countries. AVAILABILITY
In relation to the above comments it is generally the case that the most available transport services, in terms of number, regularity and quality, will be those most commonly used for certain destinations. TYPE OF GOODS
There are many factors to do with the nature of the goods to be shipped which will affect the mode used. These include:
• Size Large indivisibles (which cannot be ‘broken down’) require very special treatment and routing. It may also be that very
dense cargoes cannot be moved as full loads because they will exceed legal weights. • Segregation Some goods are liable to taint others, or be easily tainted them-selves. That is to say they impart on other goods, or pick up themselves, odors or ﬂavours which are not desirable. This may preclude the use of a normal groupage service. • Fragility Not only does this affect the nature of packing but also leads to modes of transport which minimize handling and maximize speed of transit. • Value
Likewise, highly valuable goods will require minimum handling and maximum speed. It is also the case that certain services, for example express, can provide greater levels of security and personal care than others.
• Perishability Perishable goods need maximum speed of transit and often special stowage. • Special Requirements Apart from the above there are many other special needs which the transport method must accommodate. These include refrigeration, insulation, ventilation and even heating. Plus, all the packing, marking and stowage requirements of hazardous goods. SPEED OF TRANSIT
It is not only perishable or high value goods which are appropriate to fast transit times, but also those for which there is an urgent demand. This would include items such as replacement components for broken down equipment, or vehicles off the road. It should also be borne in mind that a faster transit invariably leads to earlier payment with calculable ﬁnancial beneﬁts. More on this later. COST
A factor which is always of concern whenever choices must be made in business. In the case of international transport, it is
pretty obviously the case that the freight rate charged will differ from one service to another, and that the fastest method, that is, air freight, will be the most expensive, and the slowest, usually sea freight, will be the cheapest. It is extremely important that the exporter is able to make accurate predictions of the freight costs, not only as an aid to choice of mode of transport, but also to ensure that the quoted prices adequately cover all costs.