Strategic Role of Transport in the Economy
It is almost universally accepted that transport has played a predominant role in the economic development of all modern civilizations. Production and consumption on the scale and tempo of today would be inconceivable without a well-developed and operated transport system forming a vital link in supply chain management logistics (ôTransport and the Economyö www.rra.co.za).
Transport plays a critical part in the success of any cityÆs economy. Since the purpose of an effective transport system is to promote the growth of the economy, transport services are of strategic importance in bringing together supply and demand. Transport is the means for distributing and utilizing the cityÆs products (ôTransport and the Economyö www.rra.co.za). Engaging in trade requires the movement of goods from one place to another, and if that movement is slow, obstructed, or otherwise ineffective, the progress of the economy is impacted. For this reason, most of todayÆs largest cities were originally established next to seaports or navigable rivers where immediate access to transport for shipping goods was available. Transport by water is no longer the only option for the movement of goods, however. Cargo plane is also a viable option for transoceanic/ transcontinental transport. Within a continent, rail transport, cargo plane, and truck can be employed instead of or in addition to water transport.
The globalization of todayÆs markets brings with it virtually unlimited opportunities for cities anywhere to grow and prosper through global commerce. However, in order to profit from those opportunities, cities need to be able to move their goods quickly when trades are made. Effective global transport options must be available to support worldwide trade. The old transport paradigms that worked in a traditional economy are no longer adequate in the global economy, so creative solutions are bein...