Logistics Coursework

Question

Instructions:
In 2-3 pages (not counting cover and references), compare and contrast the European and North American freight transportation systems, globalized trade, and global policy implications. Lastly, reviewing future research, what part do you find interesting and why?

Submission Instructions: Please attach the assignment in Word Format. Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. Provide a minimum of 3 in-text citations with an APA Reference List.

Answer

European and Northern American Freight Transportation System, Globalized Trade and Global Policy Implications

Freight systems involve the transport of goods in bulk by road, rail, water or air. This analysis will cover transport using trains and water due to their global popularity and convenience in the distribution of goods. IT will focus on the freight systems in Europe and North America which demonstrate significant differences that translate to global policy implications (Lefevre & Putcher, 1996).

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                    Firstly, rail transportation models in Europe are designed for high train integration while those from North America are designed to accommodate shorter ways for wagons. However, the freight transport capacity in the US is more well-developed and cost-effective compared to that of Europe. After the Second World War, urbanization and industrialization created more focus on the freight system compared to passenger transportation, particularly in the US.

               These differences in cost have been created by ownership of infrastructure. In North America, much of the railway infrastructure is privately owned while in Europe, it is primarily owned by the public, but allows for regulated integration with private stakeholders.

The transport system that links Mexico, Canada and the US have been established for over a century through rail and road routes. However, this network is now being threatened by cross-border trade policies and legislation on immigration and security. This has reduced the smooth interdependence of distribution channels in the continent, thereby threatening to destroy the entire transportation infrastructure. As North America continues to edge towards a transport crisis, its ability to remain industrially productive is severely threatened. On the other hand, Europe’s inter-country networks within the European Union are well established and are slowly supporting an increase in volumes of goods.

       Global trade and policies have demonstrated a significant change in recent years due to increasing technology and its integration into the transport and distribution networks (Landou, 2004). The North American freight system has continued to adapt to new conditions offset by changes in industries and the ratio of imports to exports in each country. Trade and physical flow imbalances in air, water, and land systems are evident in this region. However, the existing trans-country relationship aims at reducing these constraints and doubling the transport volume capacity. Nevertheless, the existing maritime and air cargo systems continue to face the challenge of poor coordination with the inland networks.

                          Congestion and land use in the US has also intensified the challenge of streamlining inland transport and perfectly merging it with regional routes. In contrast, the European Union has continuously implemented policies to create a united trade environment through a common currency, synchronized distribution networks and balancing the flow of goods. The only major limitation of the European system lies in developing models that are cost-efficient for production in industries. Meanwhile, their inland systems are sufficiently well-connected to the maritime and air cargo systems which are in extension properly aligned to international transport systems.

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                      Interestingly, projections reveal that the North American region has more efficient trade and transport policies. In comparison, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is more economical and productive than the European Union (Gereffi, Spencer & Blair, 2002). This is because the former does not impose the competition policies and tariffs that dominate the EU. Therefore, it contributes to and supports the institution of free and globalized trade. Even more profound is the recent growth in Asia’s (particularly China’s) free trade policies that have redirected production and manufacturing to the continent, which now enjoys a competitive advantage in production due to ready availability of raw materials and low labor cost. (Razeen, 2008).

Conclusion

                        When it comes to freight transportation systems, both Europe and North America can learn important lessons from each other. A crucial factor to consider is the assimilation of inland, maritime and air cargo transport systems. Even more important is to design transport models that fit well into the regional trade policies and contribute towards the growth of global and free trade.

References

 Gereffi, G., Spener, D. & Blair, J. (2002). Free Trade and Uneven Development: The North American Apparel Insutry after NAFTA. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Landou, A. (2004). The International Trade System. New York, NY: Routledge.

Lefevre,  C and Putcher, J. (1996). The Urban Transport Crisis in Europe and North America. London: Palgrave Mamillan.

Razeen, S. (2008). New Frontiers in Free Trade: Globalization’s Future and Asia’s Rising Role. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.

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