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General Service Characteristics of Motor Carrier Transportation

The United States has invested heavily in the development of an interstate highway system. It has considerably made this form of transport a priority for transportation of cargo and other elements that contribute to the development of economy. The movement of labour is also important for the economy’s growth. This major development can be attributed to the actions dating back to the political era of President Dwight. D. Eisenhower. The latter signed a bill in 1956 that revitalised the transport industry.

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The bill established the National Systems of Interstate and Defence Highways, which saw a gradual process of construction of the interstate road network. The network came to be the preferred mode of transport by many citizens (Coyle, Barti & Novack, 2006).

This edged out the rail road system which had been the heart of cargo transport in the 19th century. When the notion is viewed in terms of figures, we see that the railroad sector ruled in the 1950s. It used to handle 1.4 billion tons of freight across the cities whereas the motor carriers moved a mere 800 million. This trend kept on changing well into the 20th century (Coyle, Barti & Novack, 2006).

The volume of freight had grown as a result of industrial growth. The motor carrier was now handling 4.1 billion tons while rail handled 2.1 billion tons. This analysis provides an overview of the steady growth of the motor carrier industry and the resultant impacts it had on the economy of the country (Coyle, Barti & Novack, 2006).

The elements that have made the motor carrier transport achieve this trend can be attributed to the general service characteristics. Developing from a new industry to the most utilized form of transportation internally translates to very unique operating features or characteristics.

The first element or characteristic is the wide network compared to other forms of transportation available. This made the system the most accessible across all cities. Most cargo handlers viewed it as an asset and resource to invest in. the industry is divided into two; for-hire and private. This makes it advantageous (Coyle, Barti & Novack, 2006).

For- hire services are practically accessible anywhere in the country and are reliable to deliver freight in time and in good condition. They also overcome the setback of other modes of transport by use of pick up and delivery points. This ensures they are utilized even by the other modes of transport (Coyle, Barti & Novack, 2006).

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The other elements are speed and reliability. Motor carriers are reliable and faster compared to air line carriers. In the event of a consignment which is to be airlifted, the bureaucracies involved in cargo dispatch, collection and delivery tend to waste time. There are many things involved in the airline industry. The motor carriers have no bureaucracies. Once tendered to deliver freight, a dispatch takes off immediately. It is also an advantage because they pick up the consignment from the shippers door step and deliver it to the consignee’s desired place. The services are available at request whereas other modes like airline tend to have schedules which may result on more delay in the freight (Coyle, Barti & Novack, 2006)..

Another support factor on the element of reliability is the smoothness of motor carrier industry. The make of cars, use of tires and the suspension system makes the transportation of cargo smooth and likelihoods of damage are minimal. This reduces on packaging requirements and costs. Finally, the costs on inventory are far much reduced and more services are provided (Coyle, Barti & Novack, 2006).

These elements clearly explain the significant growth of the motor carrier industry and its contribution to the country’s economic growth. They have an advantage over other modes, and this competitive advantage makes this industry continue in its growth.

Reference

Coyle, J. C., Barti, E. J., & Novack, R. A. (2006). Transportation. 6TH e.d. New York: Free Press, 95 – 126.

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