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Intermodal transport, a basic category of mankind

July 3, 2011

Intermodality started with the end: the total integration of transports, including with the human activity. The human beings integrated, carried out and consumed the results of their activity and the transport needed for their valorization.

There are relationships between basic categories of mankind existence:

– human needs: food, shelter, safety, mobility etc.

– production activities: agriculture, hunting, fishing, manufacturing etc.

– transport

– consumption.

Let’s build a chart of logistic relationships between these categories that commute.

At the beginning of the human existence, everything was carried out locally, around the men’s dwelling, and the distances were covered by the first known transport mode, the pedestrian one. Transport and its intermodality started to diversify when the human needs became impossible to be accomplished by local activity and, implicitly, by the local transport. As a result, later on, one could mention the pedestrian transport, the transport using animals, the transport on water environment, as well as the RoLa or RoRo type-bimodal transport (man, as vehicle, was embarked on boat or on horse).

At the continental level, the European transports witnessed a large development first in the south and south-east, in the basins of Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. During the Ancient Times, it was also developed the intermodality of the existing transport modes: the pedestrian transport, transport with animal traction, river and maritime transport (including the coastal maritime transport (SSS)). The first intermodal corridors emerged, as for example, the road and river European corridor the Black Sea (Tomis)-the Danube-Trieste realized by Romans two millennia ago.

The diversification of the human needs, of the human activities and transports, as well as the political conditions generated the emergence of bigger differences between the transport modes in different geographical areas. The evolution led firstly to the segregation of the transport modes and to the diminishing of intermodality.

The need for intermodality returned firstly on the technological area: containerization, RoRo, RoLa, floating on-floating off etc. Nowadays, the main factors for the intermodality development are logistics (generalizing transports), territorial integration, globalization etc.

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