Transportation is one of the factors that drive a nation’s economy. With excellent transportation systems, the world is exposed to better trading in terms of exports and imports of goods and services—the most common type of transportation identified with the majority of people on the road. Road transportation has been in the past an important mode of transport for goods and services but has been outdone by air and water modes of transportation. Water transportation is not as fast as air transportation, but it can effectively handle the bulk of goods and products transported. The major reason for air transportation is the most preferred is that it is the quickest (Coyle, Novack, Gibson, & Bardi, 2010). Air transport is very fast and efficient, with minimal to no accidents.
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Globalization has enabled different countries from dissimilar continents to trade its products through air transportation. Air transportation has made it easy for countries to import and export products from one another. Air transport is the best as it is fast, effective, and reliable. However, this mode of transport, that is, air, has challenges that affect the services offered to people in different regions of the world. One of the challenges facing air transportation carriers and shippers is the increase in fuel prices. Most of the revenue earned from airlines, almost 25%, accounts for direct operating costs of the fuel used in airplanes (Coyle et al., 2010).
With the increase in fuel prices over the past years, it is becoming difficult for airlines to sustain profits. The factors that influence the increase in fuel prices include political instability in the Middle East countries, demand increase from developing countries, and inadequate competition amongst fuel providers.
Another challenge facing air transportation carriers and shippers is security. Over the past ten years, there have been rampant cases of passenger planes being hijacked and bombed by terrorists. In turn, this has decreased passenger confidence, with most airlines having been affected by such security threats. This challenge affects cargo flights and could impose danger on people and their wellbeing (Coyle et al., 2010). Transport mode-shifting is another challenge facing air transportation carriers and shippers. This means that more businesses are finding it more expensive to use air transport as a mode of transporting their products. This is because the overall amount of money used by a business to manufacture and ship the products from the manufacturing factory to the main shops is very expensive when judged against producing locally.
Most challenges that affect air transportation carriers and shippers can be easily avoided while some could be acted upon (Coyle et al., 2010). The increase in fuel prices could be mitigated through the facilitation of political stability in the oil-rich countries, availability of new oil wells viable for commercial use, and decrease of the value of the commodity. This will not necessarily improve the operating costs of fuel used in airplanes, but a substantial amount of workable profit will be netted.
Terrorism is a major topic that needs to be discussed and analyzed deeply and truthfully for its effective mitigation. Passenger and cargo safety are important to airline companies to boost their reputation for consumer confidence. Governments need to develop stringent laws that ensure that people and their products are safe in, around, and outside planes and airports. Transport mode-shifting shows that many manufacturers prefer to produce their products locally than in foreign plants. This could be alleviated by lowering both the cost of production and the expenses of shipping to make them offer an equivalent or lesser outlay when compared to local production and shipment of the products via the road.
Coyle, J., Novack, R., Gibson, B., & Bardi, E. (2010). Transportation: A supply chain perspective (7th ed.). Chula Vista, United States: South-Western College Pub. Web.
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