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Terminals are essential links in the transportation chain. Discuss location choices for terminals and expand on the economic functions terminals serve. Discuss the relation of terminals to intermodal transportation.
Good morning everyone and welcome to week 5. I cannot believe that we are more than halfway done with this class already. This week is another interesting aspect of transportation and logistics. Terminals play a pivotal role in logistics and transportation. Intermodal transportation simply means that cargo is moved by at least two different modes (Han et al., 2020). Intermodal transportation is extremely important because of efficiency. Transportation efficiency is improved by over 30 percent and cargo loss and discrepancies is reduced by up to 10 percent (Han et al., 2020). It just makes more sense to have a seaport and airport co-located or close to each other to distribute cargo from a vessel to an airplane soon after the cargo is discharged from the vessel.
I got ahead of myself last week when I described terminal operations in Dubai. To recap, they had a secure, six lane road that linked the seaport to a cargo airport. The most important aspect of the Dubai terminal was the security aspect which allowed cargo to flow from the seaport to airport and onto its final destination without needed additional customs clearance. Another example that I have is also from the Middle East. We were using a port in Qatar that was able to discharge military cargo and then transport to a nearby airport where we had contracted DHL aircraft to fly to Afghanistan. Once the cargo arrived in Afghanistan, it would get loaded on contracted trucks for onward delivery.
There were times that our cargo would flow through Europe also. Our cargo would get discharged from the vessel, loaded on a truck for line-haul, downloaded to a barge to cross water, then loaded on rail, and then again on to trucks for final delivery. As you can tell, this was not the fastest nor most cost effective way to move cargo around. The last method that I described was used as a proof of principal. The proof of principal was just to see if there were alternative ways to move cargo through different terminals if one of our ports was unavailable. The military has to exercise alternative methods of moving cargo at all times just in case one of our primary ports is unavailable due to enemy activities. Have any of you experienced any issues with any terminal closures that required alternative methods of delivery?
Han, B., Wan, M., & Zhou, Y. (2020). Evaluation of Multimodal Transport in China Based on
Hesitation Fuzzy Multiattribute Decision-Making. Mathematical Problems in Engineering, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/1823068
Intermodal transportation is the involvement of integrating “two or more modes of transportation in moving passengers and freight through seamless connections from origin to destination (Goetz & Rodrigue, 1999). Terminals are areas of interchange where goods and passengers are assembled and taken to their destination. Transport terminals are important because it provides a consistent flow of people and/or freight to be transferred to its designated location. Terminals contributes to the economic activity of due to transfer functions and consolidation roles which incurs costs such as infrastructure, transport, and administrative costs. The location of a terminal is to serve a large population and support industrial activities. Airport terminals are the assembling areas for passengers and cargo, which the two are usually separated. Various modes and accommodations may be required before passenger or freight can be dispersed or transported to its final destination. An important factor for a terminal’s location is its accessibility. Each mode of transportation will require its own criteria in order to support a particular network. For instance, the location and level of activity for ports and airports are reflective of global trade patterns. “Efficient roads and railways support higher density levels of economic activities” (Rodrigue, 2020. It is imperative to understand a terminal’s location in order to support its economic activity that is related to their nature and function.
Goetz, A. & Rodrigue, J. (1999). Transport Terminals: New Perspectives. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237537351_Transport_terminals_New_perspectives
Rodrigue, J. (2020). The Geography of Transport Systems. Retrieved from https://transportgeography.org/contents/chapter2/transport-and-location/