Advantages and Disadvantages of Water Transport

Water transport refers to the transport of people and goods by water which can be rivers, canals, and seas through various medium of transport like ships, boats, and vessels. It is cheapest and also one of the oldest modes of transport. Given below are the advantages and disadvantages of water transport –

Advantages of Water Transport


In case of water transport, there is no need for any big investment on the construction of the infrastructure required for starting water transport, unlike road transport which requires the construction of road and rail transport which required putting tracks because water is a sort of natural highway. Hence water transport is very cheap when one compares it with other modes of transportation like railway, roads, and air.

Good for bulky goods

When larger quantity of good has to be transported from one place to another than this mode of transportation is the most viable option because of two reasons one that it is quite cheap and other one is that it is flexible implying that route and time can be customized according to the convenience of the party to whom the goods are to be shipped.

No disruption

Another positive of this transportation is that chances of disruption in the traffic route are less as compared to road network where there is the risk one getting stuck in traffic or rail network where trains get late when there is rains, fog or when tracks get broken. Hence in simple words in case of water transport chances of delay due to disruptions in traffic are minimal as compared to other modes of transportation.

Disadvantages of Water Transport

Slowest Means of Transport

It is the slowest means of transportation among all the means of transportation and hence if one wants to send goods quickly which is the case with perishable goods than this is not the right option as it takes way more time than road or rail transport.

Less Flexible and Dependent

It can be done only in those places where there is water; hence it’s not that flexible because one cannot send goods through this means of transportation if the place of delivery is not close to water. Hence for example, if the place of delivery is 200 miles away from nearest port than one has to incur additional expenses of transporting goods from port to the place of delivery through road or rail transport which makes it dependent on other means of transportation.

Not suitable for small items and for Longer Distances

Another problem with this means of transportation is that it is not suitable for long distances due to it being slow which in turn leads to it taking more time than any other means of transport and also when one wants to send smaller items than other means of transportation like road, railway and airway are more preferable.

As one can see from the above that water transport has advantages as well as disadvantages and any company thinking of using it as a means of transportation should look above pros and cons and then decide whether it’s feasible and profitable to send goods through this route or not.

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