Most common freight transport methods around the world

Freight is carried vast distances all over the world, whether by train, truck, sea vessel or plane. For the transportation of huge amounts of freight, trains, ships, tankers or super cargo planes will usually be used, but a fleet of trucks may also be used to carry large amounts of freight between them. Freight transportation can also be controversial because of the type of freight carried, i.e. chemicals, and the way it is carried impacts on the environment and travel networks.

By Sea

In terms of weight, the heaviest freight is transported by sea. Though not as quick as road, rail or air, the transportation of freight in shipping containers can add up to many times more freight volume that can even be transported by rail It is also very cost effective when it comes to sending freight in huge volume. Tankers are one of the ways that freight can be transported by sea, though this has proved to be controversial in the past because of the types of liquid cargo that is carried, including oil.

By Train

Sending freight via the railway network is often favoured over doing so by road – because it is quicker and arguably safer. While the railways can also be utilised to carry a greater amount of freight in one single journey than is possible by road – making this method of freight transportation more environmentally friendly.

By Road

Trucks will typically be seen as a way of transporting smaller amounts of freight. This method of transport can involve, in Europe for instance, drivers travelling through several different locations before they reach their destination. The Eurotunnel also helps to make this form of freight transportation between the UK and mainland Europe more cost effective. This type of transportation, though, has come in for some criticism in some quarters because of safety issues, such as damage being done to roads by the weight of the trucks and the loads that they carry.

By Air

A wide range of freight can be transported by air, which is the fastest method of transporting freight. Freight transportation by air can range from carrying small items, including mailed letters and packages, to construction equipment and, in some instances, other planes. Freight can be carried in three types of planes – in passenger aircraft, in planes designed specifically to carry cargo, and in super cargo planes. The latter are used to carry huge amounts of freight.