Trains, planes, automobiles, and ships: they help ship products around the world. Here’s a selection of the different types of product transportation vehicles.
Trains have been around for a very long time, and they were a big part of turning much of the United States from rural to urban and industrial territory. You’ve probably seen plenty of trains carrying commuters. You’ve likely seen your share of rail cars toting all sort of materials, too, but do you know what the different kinds of rail cars? Box cars are enclosed rail cars with side doors. They carry everything from food to building materials. Gondolas are open at the top and carry heavier and denser cargo. Flat cars are rail car platforms that carry bulky items, while tank cars are those rolling cylinders that carry liquids.
Airplanes, of course, provide air transportation and mostly carry lighter cargo. This is because planes must account for weight and balance when flying. Air transport is the most expensive option, but it’s also the fastest. Did you know that most passenger planes carry freight as well as people? Airlines regularly hire out their planes to transport packages and other cargo. If you’ve wondered how certain online marketplaces can deliver your order to your doorstep in one day—this is how. Incidentally, the Antonov An-225 Mriya is the largest cargo plane in the world, and it was originally designed to carry Soviet space shuttles.
Automobiles (Actually, Trucks)
Road transportation has been around for centuries, but the modern trucking industry didn’t come into existence until the 1930s, as cities built more highways across the country. Trucking continues to be one of the most popular ways to ship freight, and trucking culture came into vogue between the 1960s and ‘80s, with songs, TV shows, films, and more based on trucking, truckers, and especially CB radios and their accompanying jargon. The largest hauler is the BelAZ 75710 from Belarus, which weighs (unloaded) up to 794,000 pounds.
Among the other types of product transportation vehicles, ships have hauled goods from point A to point B across roiling seas for thousands of years. Ship transportation accounts for over 90 percent of all international trade, with more than 53,000 ships in service across the globe. As a side note, if you ever need to transport other transport ships, you can hire the massive heavy-lift ship MV Blue Marlin, which usually transports oil rigs, but has carried more than 22 barges at one time.