Social Studies

World transportation system

Transportation is the movement of people, goods and commodities from one place to another. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is important because it enables trade between people, which is essential for the development of civilizations.

Generally it is an act, process, instance, means of conveyance or travel from one place to another.

Modes of Transportation

There are 5 major modes of transportation in Nigeria namely:

  • Human portage and the use of animal
  • Water Transportation
  • Land Transportation
  • Air Transportation
  • Pipeline Transportation

Human Porterage and the use of animal were very common in precolonial days in Nigeria. Human Porterage. It is the means of transportation used in olden days. These involve the use of animals such as camel, horse, donkey, oxen and mules e.t.c. It is very common in Southern and middle belt areas of Nigeria to move goods and food stuff from production centres to the market. Transport by animal is common in the North for the movement of goods.

Water Transportation in Nigeria includes the use of oceans, lagoons and inland water ways and oceans. The inland water ways which includes the lagoons, canals, rivers, lakes,. Ocean navigation is operated from the seaports like Lagos, Sapele, Warri, Pot Harcourt, Calabar e.t.c. the means of water transport are canoes, ships, yacht, and ferry. water transport is good for international business.

Water transport is the cheapest and the oldest mode of transport. It operates on a natural track and hence does not require huge capital investment in the construction and maintenance of its track except in case of canals. The cost of operation of water transport is also very less. It has the largest carrying capacity and is most suitable for carrying bulky goods over long distances. It has played a very significant role in bringing different parts of the world closer and is indispensable to foreign trade.

The following are advantages of water transport

  •  Larger Capacity: It can carry much larger quantities of heavy and bulky goods such as coal, and, timber etc.
  •   Flexible Service: It provides much more flexible service than railways and can be adjusted to individual requirements.
  • Safety: The risks of accidents and breakdowns, in this form of transport, are minimum as compared to any other form of transport.
  •  Flexible Service: It provides much more flexible service than railways and can be adjusted to individual requirements.
  •  Low Cost: Rivers are a natural highway which does not require any cost of construction and maintenance. Even the cost of construction and maintenance of canals is much less or they are used, not only for transport purposes but also for irrigation, etc. Moreover, the cost of operation of the inland water transport is very low. Thus, it is the cheapest mode of transport for carrying goods from one place to another.
  •  Less Maintenance Cost: Maintenance cost in rail and road transport is quite high but maintenance cost of water transport is quite less.
  •  Useful During Natural Calamities: During natural calamities like flood and rains, when rail and road transport is disrupted, relief operations can be operated through water transport.

Disadvantages of water transport

  • Seasonal Character: Rivers and canals cannot be operated for transportation throughout the year as water may freeze during winter or water level may go very much down during summer. Unreliable: The inland water transport by rivers is unreliable. Sometimes the river changes its course which causes dislocation in the normal route of the trade.
  • Unsuitable for Small Business: Inland water transport by rivers and canals is not suitable for small traders, as it takes normally a longer time to carry goods from one place to another through this form of transport.
  • Slow Speed: It is a slow means of transport. Failure of monsoon results into fall in the water level of rivers making navigation difficult
  • More chances of attack on boat sailing through
  • Only can be used when sufficient water is available.
  • In deep sea if boat gets in to storm, it becomes difficult to rescue.
  • In waterfalls having much drafts ,water transportation does not works.
  • Special maintenance for water tightness of boat is required.

Land transportation are majorly of two types: road and rail transportation

Three types of road are:

  • Trunk A road: constructed and maintained by the federal government
  • Trunk B road: constructed and maintained by the state government
  • Minor roads: maintained by the local governments

The means are cars, motorcycles, buses; truck e.t.c. road transport is very flexible

Rail Transportation: is the first modern means of transportation in Nigeria, which involves the use of car, bike, and train. The rail is the first modern means of transportation in Nigeria. The rail lines were constructed between 1890 and 1930 and consisted of a total of about 3,500km of single tracks. It was built mainly for agricultural and mining purposes.

Land transportation can be found in two modes, street transportation, and rail transportation. Both modes of land transportation their very own advantages and disadvantages. Land transportation is highly utilized by people in the world because convenience and ease of access; almost all areas on the globe with human settlements have access to at least any road no matter what the condition the road may have. The 2 modes of the land transportation as well as their advantages and disadvantages are mentioned below.

Road transportation
This requires the transportation on the road regarding different types of transport for example bicycles, motor cycles cars, lorries and large trucks for carrying suitcases.

The mode features advantages such as:–

  1. Cheap
    This kind of mode of carry is considerably little as compared to other strategies to transportation such as air. The distance that can be covered using cars cost less amount of money due to the fare or pushing the car in case it absolutely was a private car. The strategy is also cheap considering it will deliver your current luggage to your front door unlike other techniques where the luggage will have to be collected from the channels.
  2. Convenient
    Ease in road transport comes in where the person can decide on any time during the day to start his voyage. This is mostly in the case of personal cars or engine bicycles .In case of a crisis the person in question can begin the journey to the medical center using his vehicle conveniently at whichever time of the day. Vans are also convenient throughout delivering goods; for the reason that they will deliver the products to the specific shops unlike other strategies where the luggage will probably be left at the interface requiring further transportation.
  3. Severally Flexible
    Road transfer is highly flexible, it is because the cars employed can stop anywhere to collect the goods .Another methods will require activity of goods to the programs for them to be effective. This is not the case with highway transport.
    4. Private
    Private transportation can easily be attained using private cars. Hiring private aeroplanes can be much pricey unlike hiring exclusive cars for private utilizes.

Disadvantages of street transport

  1. Create a lot of noise coming from hooting of the cars
    2. Less safe while people can be hi-jacked and robbed during transportation
    3. Can lead to congestion in populated towns hence slow.

Features of rail transport

  1. Quickly  –

The method is rapidly in cases where electric trains are being used. This makes it possible for people to reach their particular work destinations effortlessly.

  1. Safe –

The method is highly safe and sound as there are minimal cases of hijacking in educates.

  1. Reduction of congestion –

The method lowers congestion as it has a lot of luggage the ones at once unlike other methods which will demand very many vehicles to the many goods and the ones to be transported which ends up in congestion of people along with vehicles at a certain place.

Disadvantages associated with road transport.

  1. Constrained routes –

For people to use the method they have to utilize other methods for these to reach the railway areas. This leads to many programs of transportation in using the idea hence a bit pricey.

  1. International cargo –

Follows strict timetable. In case a traveler flight delays for few minutes the actual trail will have quit; this makes train transportation a smaller amount convenient to those people that have a problem of keeping time.

Air Transportation: it is the fastest and most efficient mode of transportation in Nigeria. It provides domestic and international services. Lagos State is the major hub of air transport in Nigeria.

Air transport is the most recent mode of transport. It is the gift of the 20th century to the world. The two world wars gave a great impetus to the development of air transport in almost all the countries of the world. The peculiar characteristic of air transport is that is does not need a specific surface track for its operations.
It has no physical barriers as in the case of other mode of transport. Political boundaries are also immaterial although it has to observe the requirements of the International Law. The supreme advantage of air transport lies in its quickness.
It is the fastest mode of transport. But the cost of its operation is very high and thus it is suitable for only rich passengers, mails and light and costly cargo. However, in advanced countries like U.S.A., Germany, etc. it offers a tough competition to the railways.

The following are advantages of air transport 

  • High Speed: It is the fast speed means of transport. Passengers and goods can be transported easily from one place to the other.
  • Minimum Cost: Unlike railways and road transport, there is no need to spend money on the construction of any track or road, only airports have to be constructed.
  • Strategic Importance: An airway has great strategic importance. It can be used for internal and external security.
  • Easy transport of costly and light goods: It is quite convenient to send costly, light and perishable goods through air transport.
  • Free from physical barriers: Air transport is free from physical barriers like river, mountains and valleys etc.
  • Useful for Agriculture: Air transport is useful for aerial spray on pests and insects which cause harm to crops.
  • Useful in natural calamities: During earth quake, flood, accidents and famine air transport is used for rescue operations.

Disadvantages of Air Transport:

  • High Costs: Air transport is a costly service. Its operational costs are too high. Middle class and poor people can not affect its cash.
  • More Risks: Air transport is prone to accidents. A small mistake can be very dangerous for passengers. Hijacking of planes is easily possible.
  • Huge Investments: For creating aviation facilities, huge investments are required. The cost of aero planes, construction and maintenance of aerodromes and control mechanism needs a capital expenditure.
  •   Unreliable: Most of the air transport are uncertain and the unreliable because these are controlled by weather condition. It is seriously affected by adverse weather conditions. Fog, snow and heavy rain weather may cause cancellation of some flights.
  • Small Carrying Capacity: The air crafts have small carrying capacity and therefore these are not suitable for carrying bulky and cheaper goods. the load capacity cannot be increased as it is found in case of rails.

Pipelines are a mode of transportation used to move liquid commodities from one place to another e.g petroleum and gas. Pipeline linking Warri and Kaduna is a very important example in Nigeria.

Pipeline transportation with the growth in oil and gas production and developed, has become the main mode of transport onshore oil and gas transport pipeline in recent years, solid materials, such as coal, ore pipeline transport, is also a great the development of pipeline transport.

Pipeline advantages are:

(1) Transport capacity, a foreign coal pipeline diameter 720 mm, and a year to transport 20 million tons of coal, equivalent to almost one-directional transmission capacity of a single-track railway;

(2) small amount of traffic engineering, small footprint, pipeline transportation just laying pipelines, construction of pumping stations, construction of railways is much smaller than the earthwork and the plains are mostly buried under, does not occupy farmland;

(3) Energy consumption in various modes of transport is the lowest;

(4) Safe, reliable, non-polluting, low cost;

(5) The climate, and all-weather transport, high reliability and delivery of goods

(6) Pipeline can take shortcuts., short distance transport;

(7) Can be closed transport, less wear and tear.

The disadvantage of pipeline transportation are:

(1) Specific and strong, can only transport oil, natural gas and solid slurry (such as coal), but in the field it occupies, with a fixed and reliable market;

(2) Pipeline from input the magnitude of the amount of the highest traffic among small, so in the early field development, the use of pipeline transportation difficulties, but also to road, rail, sea and land transportation as a transition.

(3) The construction of pipelines, gas stations and oil storage device has to spend huge investment. In addition, the pipeline route through a set dressing, unregulated traffic room, small transport elasticity, flexibility is poor.


  1. What is Transportation?
  2. Mention and explain the 5 major modes of transportation in Nigeria.
  3. Mention 5 disadvantages of Air Transport.
  4. Mention 5 advantages of Water Transport.
  5. What are the 3 types of road?

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