Quality of Service vs Mode of Transport

There are different aspects of the quality of transport service , which can not be readily evaluated . The value a shipper will ascribe to a particular quality will largely depend on his/her individual situation but certain transport quality  do play important role in deciding the shipper's choice of the mode of transport for a particular leg of the journey . Such qualities can be generalized as follows :

1) Speed
2) Door to door capability
3) Reliability
4) Security
5) Flexibility
6) Safety 

In today's world , time is considered as money and therefore speed is the most important factor in the determination of the mode of transport . In the international trade scenario , guaranteed transit time is the order of the day and there is cut throat competition among the shipping lines to reduce the transit time  . In Multi - Model Transportation the time taken in inland movement is also equally important and the speed with which these modes are serving the customer play a vital role in the choice of the mode of transport .

Other qualities like door to door capability of subsystem , its flexibility of  operation and general availability are also important consideration . For movement in many of the Afro - Asian countries , or in countries where there is lack of political stability , consideration of safety , security and reliability may be playing more important role .

As far as these qualities are concerned ,  road transport is generally considered superior to other modes , in view of its higher door to door capability , reliability , safety , security , flexibility , availability and speed . But it is also true that the introduction of containers has significantly improve the situation in favour of rail and  inland waterways . Railways could compete with Road in respect of speed but it had limited door to door capability and in respect of safety , security and reliability it was way behind . The same was true for inland waterways also .  But containerization has greatly restored the respectability of these  two modes since weaknesses associated with these modes have largely been overcome .