Transport 2

c) Vehicles


These are means (units of carriage) of transport that ferry goods and people on roads.

Vehicles are the most commonly used means of transport.

Vehicles are either passenger or goods carriers. Passenger carriers may be buses, matatus, taxis and private cars while goods are transported using Lorries, pick-ups, tankers and trailers. Vehicles are expensive to acquire and maintain.

The convenience of vehicles may depend on the nature of the road on which they travel.

Some roads are impassible especially when it rains while others are usable throughout the year (all weather roads).

Of special concern in road transport is
the matatus.

These are privately owned passenger vehicles which were introduced to supplement the existing mainstream transport companies that were inadequate at independence.

They got their name from the amount of
fare they used to charge originally, that is, mapeni matatu.

The operators have to obtain the relevant documents such as insurance cover in order to be

Characteristics of tramps

- Do not have a fixed rate. They therefore move to wherever there are goods or passengers to carry.

- Have no set timetables. They therefore move according to demand

- Their fares change according to demand.

- Their travelling patterns are irregular and therefore cannot be relied upon

NB: Liners and tramps owners are in constant competition business.

Traders therefore need to choose the type of ships to hire.

Liners are however more popular than tramps among traders because of their reliability.

When a trader hires an entire ship to transport goods to a given destination,he/she and the ship owner signs a document called a charter party.

This document shows the terms and conditions under which the goods would be transported.

Other information included in the agreement are destination, nature of the goods and freight charges. When the ship is hired to carry goods for a given journey the document signed is referred to as voyage charter.

On the other hand, if the ship is hired to transport goods for a given period of time, the
document signed is called time charter.

Ships may be specially built to carry special commodities.

These may include tankers specially built to transport petroleum products and other liquids.

Refrigerated ships may also be available to transport perishable commodities such as meat, fish and fruits.

b) Boats and Ferries

These are water vessels used in transporting goods and people over short distances.

They are therefore found in both inland water transport and also the sea transport.e.g the Likoni ferry in Mombasa carries people from and to the island of Mombasa and the main land.

Advantages of water transport

-Sea transport is economical to the owner as the number of employees to carriage volume ratio is less compared to road transport

- Suited for transporting heavy and bulky goods

- It is cheap as the way is natural and free

- Connects countries of the world which border the sea

- Special types of ships are available for transporting goods

-Large volume can be carried thereby reducing cost per unit

-Not affected by traffic congestion

-Some ships can be very luxurious for passengers and may even provide swimming pools.
allowed to operate.

Their owners may form associations which take care of their interests along given routes or in certain areas.

Advantages of matatus

i. They supplement regular bus companies, especially in remote areas where they are the only means.

ii. They fill up faster than buses hence save time

iii. They are more flexible since they can change routes easily depending on demand

iv. They reach out into the interior of rural areas where big buses cannot access

v. They are more flexible with the fares they charge

vi. They are easier to hire as most of them are readily available

vii. They are cheaper to acquire as compared to buses

Disadvantages of matatus

i. Some matatus are poorly maintained to the extent of being un roadworthy

ii. Most drivers are reckless as they rush to compete for customers.

They pick or drop passengers anywhere

iii. In some cases, touts use impolite language when dealing with passengers

iv. They may cause noise pollution such as unnecessary hooting and loud music

v. They may cause congestion in towns unnecessarily because of careless driving and parking

vi. Uncalled for sudden increase in fares at peak hours, during the night and on public holidays

vii. Their operation is concentrated on peak hours, rarely operating at night.

viii. They at times unexpectedly change their route hence causing breach of contract.

Advantages of vehicles

i. Most readily
available means of transport

ii. Relatively fast compared to carts and human Porterage

iii. Relatively cheaper over short distances

iv. Flexible as it can offer door to door service

v. Vehicles may be available for transporting special goods

vi. Roads are widely spread thereby making many areas accessible.

Disadvantages of vehicles

i. Acquisition and maintenance costs are high

ii. May not be suitable for transporting heavy and bulky goods over long distances as compared to railways

iii. Traffic jams in roads may cause delays

iv. Vehicle transport is prone to accidents which may lead to loss of goods and life

v.Some roads may be impassible especially during the rainy seasons.

d) Trains

Trains are vessels that transport goods and people on rails hence the term railways.

The terminuses of trains are the railways stations.

Therefore; the goods to be transported by trains have to be taken to the railway station. Railway transport is suitable for heavy and bulky goods as well as passengers.

There are two types of trains: cargo and passenger train.

Advantages of Trains

- Relatively secure as cases of theft and accidents are rare

- Enables a transporter to plan for the transport of his/her goods as trains follow a fixed timetable

-Economical for transporting heavy and bulky goods over a long distance

- Trains may have facilities for carrying special types of goods e.g. gas, petrol and vehicles

- Where shunting facilities are available trains may deliver goods up to or from the owner’s premises

Disadvantages of Trains

- Not flexible as trains follow a strict time table

- Railway lines are expensive to construct and to maintain

- Not all areas are served by railway lines

- Not suitable for transporting urgently required or perishable goods as it is slow

- Unsuitable for transporting goods over short distances

- Trains are expensive to acquire and maintain

e) Pipeline Transport

This is the movement of liquids and gases from one place to another through a pipe.

Products transported through pipes include water, gases, petrol and diesel.

Solids that cannot be dissolved or damaged by water may also be transported through pipes as suspension.

Examples coffee berries from machines to drying places.

The pipeline is both a vessel and a way.

Products flow by the force of gravity or pressure from an original station.

If the original terminal is at a higher level than the receiving terminal, the force of gravity is adequate to move the product.

But if the receiving terminal is at a higher level than the original than the originating terminal, then power is required to pump the product uphill. For example, petroleum from Mombasa which is at sea level needs pressure to pump it to all the receiving stations.

Advantages of pipeline Transport

- It is labour saving as it requires minimal manpower

- It is environmentally friendly since it is free of noise or smoke

-It may be constructed in areas where it is difficult to construct roads or railway lines. For example, over rugged terrain

- Pipelines allow continuous flow of the goods being transported

- It ensures that road damage is reduced as the number of tankers is reduced on roads
-It helps to reduce accidents that may be caused by tankers on roads
- It reduces delays arising from congestion on roads

- Maintenance costs are reduced as it relies on gravitational force and booster stations along the way

- It may not be affected by adverse weather conditions

Disadvantages of pipeline Transport

- A leakage not detected in good time may lead to high losses

- Initial construction cost is high

- Accidents leakages may lead to environmental pollution

- It is unidirectional that is, travels only in one direction

- It can transport only one product at a time

- It is not flexible since once a line is laid, it cannot be adjusted according to transport patterns or demands

- Generates comparatively fewer job opportunities as it is capital intensive

- It is vulnerable to sabotage by enemies.
- Once laid, it is difficult to re route or re locate.

2) Water Transport

It is a mode of transport where the units of carriage transport goods and people on water. Water in this case includes; navigable rivers, lakes, seas and oceans.

The means of transport which are the units of carriage or vessels using this mode include; ships, dhows, boats, steamers and ferries. Water transport can be divided into inland waterways and sea transport.


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