Transportation is the act of moving people or goods from one place to another. Transportation takes people where they need or want to go, and it brings them the goods they need or want. Without transportation, there could be no trade. Without trade, there could be no towns and cities. Towns and cities are traditionally the centers of civilization. Therefore, transportation helps make civilization possible.

Throughout most of history, transportation was extremely slow and difficult. In prehistoric times, people traveled mainly on foot. They transported goods on their backs or heads or by dragging them along the ground. About 5000 B.C., people began to use animals to haul loads. By 3000 B.C., wagons and sailing vessels had been invented. The use of animals, wagons, and sailing vessels enabled people to transport loads farther and more easily than before. But the speed of transportation improved only slightly over the centuries.

Inventors produced the first engine-powered vehicles during the late 1700′s and the early 1800′s. This development marked the beginning of a revolution in transportation that has continued to the present. Today, jet airliners carry travelers nearly as fast as, or faster than, the speed of sound. Trains, trucks, and giant cargo ships haul goods to buyers in almost all parts of the world. Automobiles provide convenient transportation for millions of people.

Although engine-powered transportation has benefited people in many ways, it has also created several difficult problems. For example, the engines use great quantities of fuel and so strain the world’s energy supplies. Automobiles jam many streets and highways, making travel slow. In addition, their exhaust fumes pollute the air. Such problems are so difficult to solve that governments have become increasingly involved in transportation.

This article discusses the kinds of transportation, the history of their development, and today’s systems of engine-powered transportation. The article also discusses the transportation industry and current developments in transportation. Vehicles are also used for recreation, warfare, and space exploration.


TRANSPORTATION/Kinds of transportation


There are three main kinds of transportation: (1) land, (2) water, and (3) air. Land transportation depends mainly on wheeled vehicles, especially automobiles, trains, and trucks. Ships and boats are the most important water vehicles. Air transportation depends almost entirely on airplanes.