Water transport is the most economical and roomy kind of transport. In international trade, a large part of goods trafficking is performed by ships. This paper provides information about how changes in ship technology affect port operations and development and discusses three factors that contribute to port operations, addressing cargo and passenger liners.
Innovations in ships technology are intended to make port operations easier, faster, and safer. First, the structure of ports and other buildings related to water transport plays an important role in port operations. Since modern cargo ships have enormous sizes, they require long berths for an easy and quick servicing of several vessels simultaneously (Vulovik, 1999). In addition, they require the increase of the water level at ports to help gigantic vessels safely access piers. Passenger liners are not that demanding in this regard.
Further, maritime transport is often combined with other forms of transport. As a result, in the early 90s of the previous century, intermodalism became popular. The introduction of shipping containers, which could be easily transferred from one mode of transport to another, has greatly accelerated and improved the flow of port operations, such as loading and unloading (Vulovik, 1999). However, the system mentioned above complicates the work with goods-transport, customs, and other documents. Intermodalism is applied in passenger transportation as well, allowing people and transportation companies to utilize the benefits and avoid the weaknesses of various modes of transport.
The main drawback of water transport is its slowness. Therefore, it is rarely used as a large-scale passenger transport. However, it is still used for river crossing, short distance travel, tourist cruises, and sightseeing tours. There are approximately ten times less passenger ships ten than cargo ships, and, therefore, passenger liners require separate ports.
In conclusion, water transport is among the safest, most economical, and reliable modes of transport. Although its development is not as fast as that of automobile or air transport, it is most convenient for conducting international trade. Therefore, its development is aimed at the making of port operations simpler and quicker.
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