top of page

Road transport- advantages and disadvantages

This is the reason that road transport is present in all countries, no matter what is the level of their development. First modern paved roads are from the 18th century. At first, they appeared in Great Britain, and later they spread around the world. Vehicles were also improved, they became faster and bigger.

The invention of the internal combustion engine encouraged many road improvements which ultimately changed the road transport above all expectations.

The development of wider and direct roads resulted in the emergence of freeways where we can travel at speeds previously thought impossible. As a result of faster transportation, the size of the cargo also increased. It’s nothing unusual to see a 40 tone truck on the road.

Road transport services are provided worldwide with vehicles ranging from small distribution vans to long road trains. The cargo space is either fixed on a vehicle or in a replacement crate that can be transferred to another type of transport, usually rail or maritime.

The size of the cargo may vary from the envelope to the overall truckload. The limitation is load capacity based on payload, maximum vehicle size, but it also depends on the drivers themselves.

Compared to other types of transportation, road transport has many advantages. Here are some of them:

1. Lower costs

Road transport requires much less capital investment compared to other types of transportation such as rail or air.

Road construction and maintenance costs are less expansive than rail network costs. Roads are mostly built by local authorities and only a small amount of money is charged for road use.

2. Door to door service

The extraordinary advantage of road transport is that it provides door-to-door or warehouse-to-warehouse services.

This reduces transport costs and saves time as the vehicle goes directly to unloading without loading into various warehouses or terminals, as in the case of maritime, air, and rail transport.

3. Services in rural areas

Road transport is best suited for the transport of goods from rural areas not connected by rail, water or air.

The exchange of goods between large cities and smaller settlements is only possible by road.

4. Flexible service

The great advantage of road transport over other types of transportation is its flexibility.

Road transport routes and timelines can be adjusted and changed to suit individual requirements without much difficulty.

5. Convenience for short distances

It is more economical and faster to transport goods over short distances. Transit delays are avoided due to transient loading and handling of goods.

The goods can be loaded directly into a road vehicle and transported straight to their destination.

6. Lower risk of transport damage

By avoiding transient loading and handling of goods, there is a lower risk of damage and breakage in transport.

This makes road transport best suited to transport sensitive products such as glass.

7. Saves on packaging costs

Compared to other modes of transport, the process of packaging in road transport is less complicated.

Goods carried by road require smaller packages.

8. Shipment speed

If goods need to arrive at their destination as quickly as possible, road transport is more appropriate than rail or sea. Maritime transport is very slow.

Also, a lot of time is lost when booking and picking up goods in the case of rail and sea transport.

9. Lower initial investment

Not only does road transport require less initial capital investment, but it also has a comparatively lower cost of operation and maintenance.

Even if the rate charged for road transport is slightly higher than that provided by rail, the actual effective cost of transporting goods is still less.

The real cost is less because road transport saves you the cost of packing and loading, unloading and reloading.

10. Privately owned vehicles

Another advantage of road transport is that larger contractors can afford their own motor vehicles and start their personal road services to market their products without delay.

11. The link to other types of transportation

The transport of goods begins and ends with the use of roads.

Road transport acts as a link for other modes of transport such as railways, ships, and aircraft.

Despite its various advantages, road transport also has some serious limitations. Here is a list of some disadvantages of road transport:

1. Dependency on weather

Road transport is not as reliable as rail transport. Weather conditions affect the flow of any traffic.

For example, during seasons of rain or flood roads become inappropriate and unsafe to use.

2. Accidents and failures

There is a greater chance of accidents and road vehicle breakdowns. Not as safe as a rail.

3. Unsuitable for long and large goods

This mode of transportation is also inappropriate and expensive to transport cheap and bulky goods over long distances.

4. Tardiness

The speed of road traffic, when compared to air travel, is relatively slow and limited.

5. Lack of organization

Road transport is comparatively less organized. It is often irregular and unreliable.

Prices charged for transportation are also volatile and unequal and subject to volatility, which is influenced by various market factors.

6. Road infrastructure dependency

Road freight transport takes place through different countries from developed to underdeveloped, with the speed and accuracy of delivery also dependent on the road infrastructure of the country through which it is passed.

7. Risk of attack and theft

During the transport of parcels by road, as well as other forms of transport, carriers are often targeted by organized robberies, with road traffic considered to be the riskiest precisely because of the ease of theft.

8. More long-haul carriers

Shipping starts from point A to point B and different carriers can be combined in road transport over the long haul, so the human factor can affect inaccuracy in handover.

9. Driver fatigue

Due to the delivery deadlines, road drivers are subject to driving fatigue that ultimately results in road accidents.

10. Pollution and adverse environmental impact

Road transport is one of the very big environmental pollutants, so a few years ago various directives were set out that set standards that should be followed in order to reduce air pollutants coming from road transport.

Although we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of road transport in this article, the practice shows that road transport was the first mode of transportation used in history, has evolved over the years to a level that could not even be foreseen, and today enables the shipment and delivery of goods through the many possibilities that are used daily.

When looking for the optimal route for shipping, whether by road, air, sea or rail, you can also try Hubbig, a solution that lets you search all your shipping options in one place starting from packages the size of a single cubic meter (1m³).



bottom of page