By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to:
1. Explain the meaning and importance of transport to business.
2. Explain the essential elements of transport.
3. Describe the modes and means of transport.
4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each means of transport.
5. Discuss the factors that influence choice of appropriate means of
6. Discuss trends of transport.Meaning of Transport
Transport is the physical movement of people and goods from one place to another.
It helps bridge the gap between producers and consumers hence creating place utility.Importance of Transport to Businessa) Bridging the gap between producers and consumers/ linking consumers to producers
- Transport links consumers to producers which enable the consumers to obtain the goods they need.b) Employment creation
- Transport helps in solving unemployment problem by creating job opportunities. For example, people may be employed as drivers,pilots, mechanics and road constructors.c) Promotes specialization
- Transport enables people to specialize in jobs they are best at. For example; producers would concentrate in production only while other people carry out distribution.d) Making goods and services more useful
- Through transport goods are moved from a place where they are least required to a place where they are most required thereby making them more useful.e) Improving people’s standard of living
- It enables consumers to get a variety of goods and services thereby improving the standards of living.f) Availing a wide market for products
- It helps producers to widen the markets for their products by enabling them access to areas they would otherwise not have accessedg) Increased production/ facilitates mass production
- Due to the wider market created through transport, producers are able to increase the volume of goods produced.h) Avoiding wastage
- Transport makes it possible for surplus goods to be disposed of by taking them to areas where they are required. Perishable goods such as flowers, fruits and vegetables can also be transported fast hence minimizing/ avoiding wastage.
i) Promoting development of industries-Through transport, raw materials can be taken to manufacturing industries and also finished goods to the market.
Similarly, it promotes development of service industries such as tourism.j) Adds value to goods and services
- creates utility in goods by moving them from the point of production to where they are needed thereby adding their value.k) Leads to the opening of new markets
- Goods and services can be taken to
new areas with ease.l) It facilitates the movement of labour
- people can easily move from where they stay to where they work.Essential Elements of Transport
In order for a transport system to function efficiently it should have certain basic elements. These elements are:
a) Unit(S) of carriage
b) Methods of propulsion
d) Terminals(terminus)A. Unit(S) of carriage
This refers to anything i.e. vessel that is used to transport goods and people from one place to another. Units of carriage include: ships, trains, aeroplanes, motor vehicles, bicycles and carts. Units of carriage are also referred to as
means of transport.B. Methods of propulsion
This is the driving force (source of power) that makes a unit of carriage to move.
The power for most vessels may be petroleum products, electricity, human force or animal power.C.Ways
It refers to either the route or path passes by the vessel. The route can be on land, on water or through air. Examples of ways are roads, railways, paths,canals, seaways and airways.
The ways can be classified into either natural
manmade ways.I. Natural ways
- As the name suggests, natural ways are the ways that are provided by nature. They are therefore free to acquire. They include airways
and seaways.II. Man-made ways
- These are ways that are made available by human being.
They include roads, canals and railways. Manmade ways are usually expensive to construct and maintain.D.Terminals (terminuses)
The vessel used to carry goods and people starts from one destination and ends up at another. At these destinations the loading and off-loading take place respectively.
The loading and off-loading places are referred to as terminals or terminus. Examples of terminuses are bus stations, airports and seaports.Modes of Transport
Mode refers to the manner in which transport is carried out.
There are three modes of transport namely:
i. Land transport
ii. Water transport
iii. Air transport1) Land transport
This mode of transport involves movement of goods and people using units of carriage that move on dry land. The various means under this mode includes:a) Human Porterage
This involves human beings carrying goods on their heads, shoulders or backs.
Human Porterage as a means of transport is the oldest kind of transport and is still very common in our society.
The means is suitable for transporting light luggage over short distances.
It is also appropriate where other means of
transport are not available or convenient. Advantages of Human Porterage
i. Could be the only means of transport available
ii. Compliments other means of transport
iii. Flexible as it has no fixed time table or routes
iv. May be a cheap means compared to other means of transport
v. Readily available when required
vi. Convenient over short distancesDisadvantages of human Porterage
i. Not suitable for long distances
ii. They add onto congestion on roads
iii. Not suitable for transporting heavy and bulky goods
iv. It is relatively slow
v.Relies on human energy which is exhaustibleb) Carts
Carts are open vessels usually on two or four wheels that are pushed or pulled by either human being or animals such as oxen and donkeys.
The carts pushed or pulled by human beings are referred to as hand carts or mikokoteni.
The ones pulled by animals, on the other hand, are called animal driven carts.
Carts are used to carry relatively large quantities compared to human porterage. Like human porterage, they are not suitable for long distances.
Types of goods that are transported using this means include, agricultural produce, water and animal feeds.Advantages of carts
i. Compliments other means of transport
ii. Relatively cheap to hire
iii. Initial buying and maintenance cost is low
iv. Appropriate in remote areas where other means are not available
v. Readily available for hire
vi. Can carry fairly heavier and bulky goods
vii. Convenient for transporting goods over short distancesi. Disadvantages of carts
i. May not be suitable for transporting heavy and bulky goods
ii. Cause traffic jams on roads leading to congestion and accidents
iii. Not suitable for transporting goods over long distances(a) Inland waterways
This is transport carried out on lakes, rivers and inland canals.
The Lake Victoria facilitates transport among the three east African countries i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Ferries also connect the mainland to islands such as Rusinga Islands, found in Lake Victoria.
Water hyacinth has however been a threat to transport on the lake. Most rivers in Kenya are not navigable due to reasons such as: Too small
Presence of rapids and waterfalls
Most are seasonal
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