The four modes of
transportation consists of: air, road, sea, and rail. It is paramount for firms
to choose the most suited mode to transit raw materials, finished products, or
services to the consumers. There are numerous logistical and financial factors
to consider for choosing the right mode. Road transportation (motor) has
demonstrated to be the most effective and economical choice of mode. It is the
most frequent transportation used domestically and internationally to transit goods
that arrives from airplanes, railroads, and sea. Goldsby et al. (2014) suggested that “given
the extensive network of roadways transport within towns and cities, as well as
the connection among them, most origin-destination pairs within a land mass can
be reached via means of motor transportation (p.17).” The objective of this research paper is to
discuss the advantages and disadvantages of road transportations. This paper
will further examine the logistic strategy of utilizing road transportation
from an business perspective.
Introduction: History of the Trucking
trucking industry is one of the largest division within road transportation.
The majority of goods transporting on roads are delivered by trucks. When
trucks were first developed during the nineteenth century, their main purpose
were to haul freight but they were not able to provide long distance transit
like the railroad industry. After World
War II, trucks were utilized to meet increased consumers demand and they began
to operate farther and faster. The
trucking industry has been one of the forefronts and still remains an
economical factor to the United States’ economy. Trucks can be seen daily on
every major interstate, highway, and local road transporting tons of goods
across America. The economy depends on trucks to transport raw materials
between producers and consumers. More
than eight-two percent of goods are transported by trucks.
industry was heavily regulated by the government which hindered the trucking industry
during President D. Roosevelt presidency.
After the Great Depression, The New Deal was proposed to ensure that
there were fair pricing in the transportation industry by regulating the price,
competition, and the markets. According
to Goldbsy et al. (2014), “The U.S
interstate trucking industry was largely deregulated on matters of economic
competition in 1980 through provisions of the Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform
and Modernization Act (known as Motor Carrier Act, or MCA-80) (p.18).
As the America’s
highway were developing during the 1950s, trucking industry faced another
limitation of transporting cargo through undeveloped terrain. This limited
trucking companies to transport across the company. In 1956, President Dwight
D. Eisenhower signed the federal aid highway act which authorized the
development of a forty-one thousand mile interstate system which was ideal for
cross-country delivering for the industry. Effective roads enabled the industry
to deliver to any location anywhere safely and efficiently.
Advantages of Road Transportation
trucks set off around the world on a journey to deliver goods and products to
consumers. Road transport makes it one of the biggest transportation service
globally because it operates through numerous terminals throughout serval
locations delivering all types of goods across the continents. An advantage to
motor transportation, it is conveniently connected to intermodal transportation
network. Intermodal network involves two or more mode of transportation which
likely are trains and trucks.
In the United
States, road transportation provides and offers more flexibility than any other
mode. It is the most reliable mode of transportation due to its large-scale
network of roads and highway. Trucks are the most common form used to deliver
raw products, finished goods, and products on roads. Trucking industry business
has increased due to its flexibility, reliability, and door to door
services. Motor transportation is one of
the leading economic factor for any country. Road transportation provides a
greater advantage over other modes of transport due to its flexible services.
It provides customers with quicker economical and flexible routes and time
schedules can be adjusted to the company’s requirement without causing any
inconvenience or additional cost.
Disadvantages of Road Transportation
Trucks are one of
the primary mode of delivering goods across the country and as the economy
grows more trucks are on the road. Large Semi-trucks has heavily contributed to
country’s greenhouse gas and oil consumptions which has caused the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce regulations. The EPA and the
National Traffic Safety Administration has ensured that new regulation will
reduce air pollutions, carbon dioxide emissions, and raise efficiency
standards. The EPA and the National Traffic Safety Admiration announced new
regulations on the trucking industry. According to a Conglianese et al. (2017 )
“congressional report on this earlier emissions debacle, the diesel truck
emissions that escaped regulatory control roughly equated to the volume of
pollution that would have been produced by adding 65 million more cars per year
to the nation’s roads-and ultimately these excessive emissions may have even
contributed to more than 4,100 premature fatalities from compromised air
quality.” The trucking industry has faced another hurdle due to the new
regulations; all trucks must be in compliance with new emission regulations.
Trucks are required to have new clean air filter which can cost over fifteen
thousand dollars. This have forced trucking companies to increase their
shipping cost to by ten percent.
One of the biggest
disadvantages of trucking industry are the numerous trucking accidents and
fatalities that are reported yearly. Out of all the modes, trucking accidents
are fairly common across America. On average eleven fatal trucking accidents
occurs every day. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported
fatal 4,050 vehicle in 2015 as shown in table 1. Collectively, trucks delivers
millions of dollars of goods across the country every day and it is a high
possibilities of a financial loss due to an accident.
Trucks in Fatal Crashes by Vehicle Configuration, 2013-2015
Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015. (2017, March 03).
Retrieved January 07, 2018, from
Walmart Inc. has
been named one of the most sophisticated supply chain in all of retail history.
Walmart logistical execution is key to its ability to transport goods faster
than their competitors. Walmart approximately have over six thousands trucks
delivering products domestically across the United States. Senior vice president Tracy Rosser (2015)
states, “Walmart trucks log millions of miles every year, so when it comes to
sustainability and fleet efficiency, the goal is simple: deliver more
merchandise while driving fewer miles on the most efficient equipment. A strategic ways to deliver more goods more
in a truck run more efficiently is to utilize as much space. There is always
room for cargo to be dispatched on truck due. According to (Goldsby et. al 2014), “A 53-foot
trailer, which has become more common in many settings, can hold two rows of 13
pallets, or 26 pallets (pg. 17).
the supply chain management systems are meticulously connected. These two
division must work with each to deliver freight to meet the customer’s demand.
Effective planning and consideration of the company’s location, the freight’s
origins and destination location is a critical factor of which mode of
transport should be used for delivery.
Firms are utilizing the third-party logistic (3PL) as an operating
strategy within their supply chain and transportation sector. 3PLstrategy is
efficient for transiting freight to its destination in a time effective manner.
Fourth-party logistic 4PL is another transportation strategy that outsource
that goes out on the companies’ representation to find transportation companies
to transport your goods. The 4PL system is more often used for companies that
utilizes multiple carriers. 3PL is an effective strategy includes three major
parties: the company, warehouse, and consumers. The connection between all is
the courier that transport the material. Companies such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS
which utilizes trucks as a primary mode of delivery, delivers the material to
all three points.
(JIT) process is a lean manufacturing inventory practice where customers order
products, information is relayed to the part supplier, parts are manufactured,
and goods are shipped directly to the customers. Goods are not stored in a warehouse
which eliminates inventory cost and other expenses. For example a company can manufacture,
produce, and customize goods to customers liking and ship it within a short
amount of time. This eliminates stock sitting on the shelf which will
eventually become a financial loss to the company. JIT optimizes your inventory
by reducing and using road as a mode of transport helps ships goods faster to
the customers. This means items can be shipped overnight or instantly to meet
In conclusion, transportation
is an important link within the supply chain management system. The final
product must be delivered at the right time and place to satisfy the customer’s
demand. Companies must take in consideration the geographical location and
distance between the point of origin and the final destination. The nature of
the products of goods determine the type of delivery and transportation
Transportation provides one biggest advantage over any modes because of its
extensive network globally. Using road transportation can benefit a
company supply chain by moving goods faster from production, distribution,
warehouse, and to the consumers. Several logistic strategies such as 3PL, 4PL,
and JIT are modern techniques being used by companies to push goods out faster
in a time effective manner. These new logistic strategies has called upon the
trucking industry to transit these goods to their destination. Road
transportation has it disadvantages but from a logistical perspective it
provides the largest benefit.