Handbook of International Trade and Transportation
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Handbook of International Trade and Transportation

Edited by Bruce A. Blonigen and Wesley W. Wilson

International trade has grown rapidly over the past half century, accommodated by the transportation industry through concomitant growth and technological change. But while the connection between transport and trade flows is clear, the academic literature often looks at these two issues separately. This Handbook is unique in pulling together the key insights of each field while highlighting what we know about their intersection and ideas for future research in this relatively unexamined but growing area of study.
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Chapter 19: Trade and transport modes: the search for global connectivity through transport networks

Theo Notteboom


Global trade is impossible without transportation, making efficient transport a key trade facilitator. Increasing the efficiency of transport and lowering the associated freight and time costs are key fields for action in view of lowering trade costs, and thus enhance global trade. This chapter discusses the transport networks and transport modes that support global trade. The chapter first discusses the changes in the appearance of goods traded worldwide and the impacts of these changes on the increasing scale and segmentation in the transport industry. Next it provides an analysis of the design and function of transport networks, following a four-layer approach (i.e. location, infrastructure, transport operations and logistics organization). The chapter then provides further detailed elaboration on each of these layers, before presenting some concluding remarks.

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