In the past, agricultural produce could only travel short distances. New technologies in food transport and processes have made it possible for food handlers to move larger quantities of vegetables and fruits over longer distances. Developed countries heavily rely on fleets of trucks, ships and planes to transport vegetables and fruits over thousands of miles. Technology has therefore had a significant impact on the International Agribusiness. Refrigerated transport has made it possible for food handlers to ship perishable vegetables and fruits to any place in the world (Thompson 74). Technology has led to the creation of more innovative foods processing techniques. Such techniques may include extracting juice concentrates from fruits which ensures fruit products are available all year round regardless of the time of year.
Both regional trade agreements and consumer demand have significantly added to the amount of food in the international markets. In the early 19th century, ready access to fresh vegetables and fruits from different parts of the globe was still a great deal to most people. Recent studies that have been conducted on the food transport industry suggest that the convenience offered by global food distribution should be weighed against the following factors: environmental and economic implications of transporting food over long distances, as well as, social and health factors.
Vegetables and fruits are transported over long distances for several reasons: first, transporting vegetables and fruits into international markets helps in providing food to densely populated areas.
Such areas might not have otherwise acquired sufficient food locally. Transporting vegetables and fruits over long distances also helps in providing consumers with more varieties, as well as, capitalizes on the benefits of regions producing particular foods. According to the US Bureau of Statistics, transporting vegetables and fruits over long distances is very essential since each of the 8 million people living in cities have to consume over a ton of fresh food per year so as to meet the USDA nutritional requirements (Akridge 45).
This report focuses on analysing new technologies in the food transportation industry. The report will evaluate cold chains and supply management issues within international agribusiness. This research will play a significant role in understanding international agribusiness and trade related issues related to a country. The paper will also evaluate regional trade agreements, security disputes and trade disagreements in international agribusiness (Newman 78).
Vegetables and fruits Transport in International Agribusiness
Most of the fresh produce at grocery stores and convenient stores are often filed with numerous types of vegetables and fruits from all over the world. Unlike in the past, there are always fresh vegetables and fruits irrespective of the season. Supermarkets and grocery stores also have a wider selection of fresh produce. New technologies in the food transport industry have played a significant role in ensuring food are delivered in different parts of the world. These new technologies in the transportation of vegetables and fruits are often based on two facts. First, these new technologies are a detailed knowledge of the physiology of the produce. Secondly, these technologies are based on the ability to preserve the fruit’s freshness, hence retaining their quality for a longer period of time especially after it has been harvested (Chambers 76).
Effective transportation ensures that produce reaches its destination while they are still alive. New technologies ensure that such produce continue to breath, respire hence lengthening their life even after harvesting. Transpiration is one of the major contributing factors that cause vegetables and fruits t shrinks. When produce is removed from its normal sources of water and nutrients, they lose water and respiration changes cannot be prevented, new technologies, however reduces transpiration and increases the produce’s life.
Transporting vegetables and fruits has become an integral process in international agribusiness. This is attributed to the changes experienced in food processing and distribution industries. New technologies within these industries have added to the already extended food miles. Consequently, these technologic advances directly affect smaller producers. Food distributors are often the middlemen tasked with the responsibility of getting food from fields to retails. These distributors pick up vegetables and fruits from food processors and temporarily store them in refrigerated warehouses. They later transport them to restaurants, groceries and supermarkets who then sell them to the final customer. In the past few years, food distributors and food processors have merged together resulting to fewer but larger food processing facilities in these industries. Most of these larger facilities may afford to make more purchases hence they have more purchasing power and may demand a more steady year round supply of fresh vegetables and fruits.
According to recent studies, the number of food transport vehicles would exceed 500 million by 2015 (Barnard 78). This calls for a more extensive use of smart transport technologies so as to optimize the traffic network and reduce the overall carbon footprint left by the trucks. Intelligent transport systems include those applications that offer traffic and fleet management. These applications also help fruits and vegetable distributors perform better and make safer and smarter decisions. New technologies in the transport sector include: satellite aided navigation systems, computerised toll collection, cameras for traffic surveillance, as well as, numerous logistic management commands.
New technology in international agribusiness focuses on three major facets, they are: the growth, maturation and senescence. New technologies in the growth process of vegetables and fruits encompass the stage from germination of the seed to the formation of the fruit or organ that is harvested as vegetables. New technologies in the growth process include developing seeds that are less likely to be affected by pests and diseases. Secondly, new technologies may be used immediately before growth has ceased and may include some of the early stages of fruit formation (Thompson 87).
Biochemical reactions may be used within the plant that precedes the harvest stage. Technology may also be used in senescence. Senescence is the period during which biochemical processes become derivative rather than synthetic and may lead to the death of tissues. Green house technologies have significantly increased fresh produce in international agribusiness. New equipment has come up to help industries process and distribute vegetables and fruits. Such equipments range from glass ovens to textile dyers, printing machines to waste incinerators. Planes, trains and trucks are now equipped with new technologies that has improved their instructiveness, safety and speed.
Supply Management Issues
This section will examine some of the most common vegetables and fruits supply management challenges. This will help develop a better understanding of some of the trade related issues in international agribusiness. The first challenge is identifying and applying the right metrics in managing the supply chain in an effective manner. This might be the most popular challenge among industries concerned with processing and distribution of vegetables and fruits. This challenge arises from disagreement about the right metrics to be used within the supply chain. Such disagreements are also very common within departments or program lines in an organization whereby mangers fail to agree on standardized calculations. The solution to this problem may be suing SCOR metrics which are the standard metrics in most supply chains. SCOR metrics enables line mangers to decide and choose the desired metrics to be used in a consistent and productive manner (Akridge 87).
Another challenge facing supply chains within international agribusiness is the inability to prioritize supply chain improvement efforts. Most companies within the agribusiness sector often struggle to find the right professional advice. This is mainly because problem solvers are scare and when they are available they are assigned those problems that often have the biggest impact on the business. This approach leads to inefficient standard approaches whereby every member within the supply chain has their own strategy that yields different results. Failure to prioritize supply chain improvement efforts may lead to internal politics and skills may be limited only to a few members within the supply chain. Fruits and vegetable industries should focus at creating better policies that develop strategic supply management initiatives (Barnard 78).
Lagging performance is another challenge within international agribusiness. Most industries within the agribusiness supply chain focus at reducing their operational costs, improving customer satisfaction, and strategically position themselves in the market. Some companies however, experience performance gaps particularly because of substandard metric systems. Performance gaps may be reduced by developing and implementing performance evaluation techniques. Performance evaluation helps in identifying those key factors that reduce the overall output and recommends steps to be taken to deal with such factors.
Another major challenge is increasing complexity in international agribusiness supply chain. Increased technologies, new technologies and better transport systems have significantly increased trade in international agribusiness. Companies are now serving more customers from different locations across the globe. These and factors such as increased variety of vegetables and fruits have resulted into increased complexity within the supply chain (Newman 78). The complexity may be measured by comparing previous network of suppliers to the current ones which has numerous warehouses, factories, customers and transporters. Increased complexity within a supply chain makes it hard for members to identify and address problems that may occur. Stakeholders in a complex supply chain may lack a standardised metric system or have very little information about the supply chain.
Complexity within supply chain systems doest not only affects international agribusiness, other sectors are also affected as well. However, the complexity in international agribusiness is more prevalent due to lack of proper segmentation of products and customers. Lack of proper segmentation within the fruits and vegetable industry often leads to poor development of supply network strategies and processes. To deal with the complexities within the supply chain, fruits and vegetable processors and distributors should aim at developing a framework that reduces such complexity through lobbying with each other. Finally, retaining professionals within the fruits and vegetable supply chain may be a challenge.
Supply chain management in international agribusiness often covers multiple disciplines. These disciplines require an all round professional who poses unique managerial talents. Such talents if any are usually very difficult to retain since their deep understanding in planning, sourcing, distribution and manufacturing is also sought after by other supply chains particularly those in the technology sector (Newman 96). Recent studies on retaining key individuals within any supply chain chains have concluded that: The right individual at the right organization may be key in ensuring workers do not leave the organization seeking better pay or incentives from other companies.
International Agribusiness refers to the exchange of agricultural products across international borders. In most countries particularly the developing countries, such trade represents over ¾ of their GDP. International Agribusiness has been present through much of history; however, its social, political and economic importance’s has been realized in recent decades. Increased globalization, new technologies, better transportation systems and multinational corporations have had a major impact on International Agribusiness. Researchers have concluded that increasing International Agribusiness id crucial to the continuance of globalization particularly within the developing countries.
Without International Agribusiness, trade in most countries would be limited to products and services produced within their own borders (Akridge 96). In principle, International Agribusiness is not different from domestic agribusiness trade but the formal is more costly than the latter. This is largely because any trade across borders often involves several additional costs such as time costs, border delays, tariffs and customs. Most scholars have suggested that agribusiness is a division in agriculture that focuses in trading agricultural products rather than producing these products. Agribusiness involves the supply of seeds, agrichemicals, farm machinery, marketing and processing agricultural produce.
The current rise in population and development across the globe has forced industries within the international agribusiness to increase operational efficiency and productivity across the value chain. Businesses in international agribusiness have to establish strategies that aim at reducing risks and optimizing their returns. Technology has played a significant role in empowering producers, processors and distributors in growing and shaping better operating models that improves the overall performance.
Regional Trade Agreements
Regional trade agreements (RTA) help in addressing the current changes within the multilateral trading system in the agribusiness sector. Countries can engage in regional trade agreements with each other in an effort to remove trading obstacles (Chambers 36). RTA plays a critical role in enabling countries achieve higher levels of trade welfares by focusing on production whereby they are able to take advantage of technological inflows. Most of these technological inflows are facilitated by large scale trading which is only achievable through Regional trade agreements.
Regional trade agreements also help link smaller economies with larger economies. This enables such small economies implement their individual development strategies and invest in better opportunities. One of the biggest roles of regional trade agreements between countries is increasing market access beyond regional borders. This enables countries to expand their agribusiness beyond domestic domains (Barnard 74). Regional trade agreements therefore increases demand and returns for member countries which eventually facilitates specialization and promotes technological innovations.
Regional trade agreements helps trading countries improve their potential for export diversifications and growth which adds value to individual country’s products and services. Integration initiatives into regional trade agreements are often characterized by bilateral agreements with other countries or groupings within the region. Most regional trade agreements include partners that share the same interests (Akridge 32). The integration of new trade agreements into real trade gains however, depends on the state of an individual’s economy and existing policies. These policies include those that concern the regulatory framework and operations of financial markets. Governments must therefore help the private sector improve their market performance so as to strategically position them in the regional market.
Food Safety and Security Disputes
Food safety and security disputes have become more apparent over the past few decades. This may be attributed to climate change, globalized health disasters, as well as, overproduction by large multinationals in the food industry. The current struggle for control of the worldwide food supply between the USA and the EU has led to a serious transatlantic food dispute between the two economies (Akridge 32). The EU perception to food security is ensuring a sufficient quantity of food, but the US perception to food security is ensuring high sanitary levels of food and quality standards are maintained. Analysing the current agribusiness trade dispute between the EU and the US helps in creating a better understanding of contemporary global food safety and security issues.
The European Union strategy in promoting its understanding of food safety and security is very different from that of the US. The World Trade Organization (WTO) may be the best organism to regulate these types of disagreements. WTO is endowed with several food safety and dispute bodies that make compulsory decisions. The organization oversees trade agreements in international agribusiness and establishes technical barriers to trade. Over the past few decades, WTO has constituted major progress over the current transatlantic relations which have become more adverse rather than supplementary (Barnard 74). Most of the interpretations offered by the different bodies within WTO are legal predictions on how different notions about food safety and disputes can co-exist with each other.
This section aims at examining trade disagreements within international agribusiness and how they are handled by the World Trade Organization. WTO processes and procedures in solving trade disagreements are critical in enforcing rules that ensures trade flows smoothly. Trade disagreements in international agribusiness often arise when a member country feels another state is violating one of their commitments they have made in the WTO. In most cases, the authors of these agreements include member states themselves or negotiations among members (Akridge 32). The responsibility of settling disputes within international agribusiness lies with member governments. These disputes however, have to be settled through the dispute settlement body which is an organ in the WTO.
Regional polices offer solutions in international agribusiness disagreements. It allows agribusiness to take a more integrated approach in trading that helps mitigate risks. With the proper strategies and policy frameworks, countries are better able to both manage their exposure and identify new opportunities in international agribusiness. Regional trade policies and frameworks help reduce disagreements that may arise between states. This is because policies dictate the execution strategy to be used in international agribusiness. They provide governance and trading operations are closely monitored.
For countries to co-exist with each other with minimal trade disagreements, they have to implement a strategic model that is proactive. Such a model will be key to higher performance and will assist in developing risk governance policies that ties together strategic and operational objectives. This often leads to agribusiness that can easily adapt and thrive in a changing or highly volatile market with minimal trade disagreements (Akridge 12).
Analysis of the frozen food industry
According to the WTO, the frozen food market was the biggest contributor of revenue in international agribusiness (Chambers 74). Frozen foods accounted for over 65 percent of the fruits and vegetable products imported in the US alone. Frozen foods comprise of fruits, vegetables and meat products. The WTO valued the demand for frozen foods at $ 250 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $ 300 billion by 2020 with a growth rate of 4.2 percent from 2013 to 2020. Over the past few decades the frozen food supply chain has witnessed tremendous growth mainly because of increasing demand for easy to prepare foods and new product launches within the agribusiness supply chain.
Rising demand from emerging economies such as China, South Africa and India have also significantly contributed to the market growth of the frozen food sector. Government interventions and regulations have become a major restraint for growth within the frozen food supply chain. However, recent studies have shown that frozen foods made from organic ingredients offers more market opportunities for both processors and distributors in international agribusiness supply chains. For a long time, the supply networks for frozen foods by products has been dominated by frozen ready meals because of the wide range of products available. Recent studies have revealed that the frozen fruits sector is experiencing a rise in demand mainly because of new freezing technologies that allows processors and manufactures to preserve the nutritional value of vegetables and fruits for longer periods.
Research has revealed that North America and Europe experienced 30 percent and 40 percent growth respectively in the frozen food sector from 2007 to 2013. This growth was driven by rising preference towards convenience foods and busy lifestyles. New markets in the frozen food industry include Brazil and Argentina and Asia (Akridge 10). The Asian Pacific market is estimated to be one of the most attractive markets for frozen foods because of its healthy growth rate and rising preference towards its frozen products.
For the last five years, the US has been the largest market for frozen vegetables and fruits accounting for over 80 percent. The US is closely followed by Japan and Germany. Statistics has shown that Brazil as the most attractive market for frozen vegetables and fruits. This is because the country has readily available raw materials making frozen products more accessible and affordable. The Brazil market is expected to experience a growth of 4.8 percent from 2013 to 2020.
Future trends in freezing technology
Studies in the frozen food industry have revealed that it is primarily based on modern technology and science. Several factors play a major role in the commercialization and usage of freezing technology. Future trends in the freezing technology are more likely to be affected by economical and technological factors. Increased population and personal incomes leads to higher cost of other forms of foods, as well as changes in tastes and preferences. Rising population growth has forced companies to improve their production of food commodities at a larger scale. The availability of better equipment has therefore become more valuable for the preservation of food.
Additionally, frozen foods have more economic significance depending on people’s income and the relative cost of frozen products. Industries within the agribusiness supply chain are now focusing at producing products that are of higher quality but at a lower price. Emerging trends in the industry are therefore characterized by developments in freezing technology which involve the improvement of mechanical handling and processes. These handling processes have played a critical role in increasing the freezing rate of such technologies while reducing their operational costs.
Currently, there is a rise in the demand for frozen foods. Expansion in the industry is highly dependent on the ability of manufacturers to develop higher qualities in food preservation and transportation methods. Development in the industry may be achieved by focusing on new technologies and identifying those factors that negatively affect the quality of frozen products. Improvements in new products and the availability of information can have a significant impact on the continued growth of the frozen food sector (Chambers 32).
Currently, there numerous well established traditional food preservation processes have survived through the 21st century. One of the most commonly used preservation process include thermal processes which offers higher levels of microbial safety. This process however, tends to degrade the overall quality of food. For a long time, freezing has enabled food processors and distributors store perishable produces without losing their nutritional values. Freezing however changes the physical state and consumes a lot of energy.
Food preservation is changing as new technologies continue to emerge. This change has been fuelled by the rising demand from customers, changing lifestyles and increased expectations from customers who want fresher and more natural foods. Customers also want foods with fewer preservatives and those that are free from artificial additives. Processing films and distributors are also seeking for food preservation methods that consumes less energy and have a lower impact to the environment. These growing demands from customers and industries within the agribusiness supply chain have increased the interest for non thermal methods of food preservation. Emerging trends in the freezing technology may include using more advanced bio preservatives, ionizing radiation treatment and higher hydrostatic pressure treatments.
Recent research on the application of polyphenols has attracted several industries within the agribusiness supply chain. Polyphenols have numerous health benefits when integrated in frozen foods. Future effectiveness of polyphenols however, depends on their effectiveness to preserve the stability and bioactivity of frozen vegetables and fruits. New technologies in the encapsulation of polyphenols into frozen vegetables and fruits include coacervatio and liposome entrapment. The food industry is has grown to become one of the most significant branch in the Word trade Industry, as well as, in most countries.
It is concerned with the processing and distribution of agricultural produce. Traditionally, the industry was considered as a low research intensity sector. Despite this, several innovations have been recognized as significant instruments for industries within the agribusiness supply chain to effectively satisfy their customers’ expectations. Future trends in the frozen food industry may also be fuelled by the steady increase in life expectancy, as well as, the desire by most people to eat healthier foods.
Freezing technology in developing countries
Studies carried out by the WTO in 2010 suggested that the US was the most dominant in international agribusiness. The organization ranked the country at number one as both the importer and exporter. The US accounts for the highest percentage in fresh produce globally. However, developing countries heavily rely on the export of fresh exotic vegetables and fruits to more developed states. For most third world countries, the application of frozen technology is highly favourable with several considerations.
The freezing processes may be viewed as one of the most convenient and easiest food preservation technique when compared to other commercial preservation techniques. The availability of different food processing equipments has resulted in a more flexible food processing framework. This framework minimizes the degradation of the initial food quality with the proper application of freezing technologies.
Several economists have suggested that higher capital investments in the freezing industry may play a significant role in terms of economic feasibility within the developing countries. The overall freezing process and storage can constitute about 10 percent of the total costs accrued by most developing countries. Energy costs especially for producers may be standardized by lowering the unit price or even by reducing the tax percentage with the aim of enhancing production. It is therefore important to conspire the costs related to energy consumption when evaluating the economic conveniences of the frozen food sector within the developing countries.
Freezing within the developing countries has now become a widespread commercial procedure in the long term preservation of perishable foods. This is because frozen technology retains food quality and is more convenient when compared with other conventional food preservation techniques. Freezing vegetables and fruits often entails lowering their immediate temperatures to about -20°C. This allows developing countries to trade exotic fruits such as mangos, banana and pineapple pulps in frozen from across the globe. The potential application for the freezing technology in the agribusiness supply chain has increased within developing countries especially in Africa.
Freezing techniques that are been developed for third world countries have had a significant impact on the overall quality of frozen foods. This is because these technologies allow water content from exotic vegetables and fruits to be frozen in fine grain crystals hence, avoiding any damage to tissues. Freezing technologies developed for the third world countries also plays a critical role in inhibiting the microbiological processes that might spoil the produce.
International agribusiness packaging and transportation
There are numerous factors that transport companies within the international agribusiness should consider. Some of these factors include: The overall protection of the vegetables and fruits from atmospheric oxygen, prevention of excessive loss of moisture and heat transfer through the packaging materials used. Scientist recommends two main packaging methods: the dry pack and the tray pack. The dry pack packaging method involves balancing and draining vegetables and fruits that have been put into meal sized freezer bags and packed tightly to reduce the amount of air inside the package.
The tray pack method uses vegetables and fruits that have been chilled and placed in a single layer on shallow pans or trays. Trays are then placed inside freezers until the vegetables become firm after which they can be removed. Vegetables and fruits can then be filled inside containers for transport. Tray packed foods are often more convenient for the final customer since they rarely freeze instead they remain loosely distributed within the pack.
Vegetables and fruits that become exposed to oxygen may become susceptible to oxidative degradation. This may result in browning and reduced storage of both vegetables and fruits during processing and transport. Packaging of frozen vegetables and fruits focuses at excluding air from the fruit and vegetable tissues. The oxygen is then replaced with sugar solutions or inert gases through two major processes: the first process is the glucose oxidisation which entails using up all the oxygen in the produce. The second process utilizes the vacuum technology that employs oxygen impermeable films to remove all the oxygen in the produce.
Most food processors use plastic bags, pots or bags as their preferred packaging materials. The choice of the packaging materials to be used is often dictated by the concentration and thickness of individual fruits or vegetables. There are other types of fruits packs suitable for frozen vegetables and fruits. Some of the most commonly used include: sugar pack, syrup pack and tray packs (Akridge 32). The type of pack used is highly dependent on the intended use for the fruit or vegetable. Syrup packed vegetables and fruits are generally used for cooking purposes while dry packed or tray packed vegetables and fruits are commonly used for serving raw garnishes and salads.
Transportation of vegetables and fruits in international agribusiness is often dependant on the type of packaging used by the food processors. Fruits transported at their peak flavour and texture is often transported to their destination by air. This is because air transport is faster and such vegetables and fruits are intended for use within a short period of time after they have been harvested. Research has shown that postharvest delays in transporting vegetables and fruits may lead to their deterioration in both flavour and texture.
Transportation delays are therefore reduced when dealing with fruits ad vegetables tat are at their peak with the aim of rationing their quality prior to their consumption. Some transportation companies opt to cool vegetables and fruits by using cold water, ice or air blasting during shipping. These techniques are known to offer extra hours of higher quality retention particularly when transporting produce over longer distances. The process is however better suited when transporting produce from the field to the food processing plant.
Globalization and the food transportation industry
Globalization has had significant impact on international agribusinesses. Globalization has had specific focus on better transportation systems of vegetables and fruits. It has also affected people’s lifestyles linking them to similar diets. Globalization has linked different stakeholders within the agribusiness supply chain leading to rapid shifts on transportation techniques used. Globalization has changed how the mechanics in the agribusiness supply chain interrelate with each other. This is because of more stringent performance evaluation techniques that aim at increasing quality at all levels of the supply chain (Chambers 78).
Globalization has facilitated the growth of the food transport industry. Improved communication and freight systems have played a key role in transporting over 90 percent of goods and services within the international agribusiness supply chain. Technology is one of the key drivers of globalization. The internet has connected suppliers and buyers from all over the world. Technology has also been the key driver in the frozen food sector. Globalization has created a near perfect market in international agribusiness. This market allows brutal competition among suppliers and encourages a reliable flow of vegetables and fruits within the global food supply chain. In conclusion, globalization has been a key element in the continued growth in the international agribusiness supply chain.
There are numerous factors affecting the food transportation industry. Among the many factors affecting international agribusinesses, transformational factors may be the least understood. This is largely because food transportation reflects both the complexity of freight rate structures and the extensive interplay of transformational charges and the cost of raw materials. Different theories have been formulated that revolve around the cost of transportation and land (Barnard 74). One such theory is the location theory by Von Thumen. He attempted to explain why specific agricultural produce are grown in a particular plot of land. The theory substitutes land costs for transportation costs until it obtains the least cost combination.
Challenges in international agribusiness
One of the most notable emerging challenges in international agribusiness is food security and safety. According to recent studies by the UN, food production have to increase with over 70 percent by the year 2040 (Chambers 47). This is because the population growth is expected to rise by 7 percent reaching over 9 billion people by the year 2040. Another challenge is energy demand in international agribusiness supply chains. This has been brought about by the current decrease in fossil energy and increasing energy prices. More countries particular the developed countries have shifted their focus into alternative sources of energy such as bio energy. Bio energy consumes a significant amount of agricultural produce. More agricultural produce will be used in the next few years with the projected rise in energy demand.
One of the challenges is Multifunctionality of international agribusiness and the intersection with global concerns which results into loss of biodiversity and the ecosystem. Mutlifunctionality within the agricultural sector includes corroborations with other industries such as the transport sector or science research centres. Currently, several functions exist within international agribusiness. Most of these functions aim at delivering component technologies that increases productivity. Increased Multifunctionality in international agribusiness reduces specialization and division of labour. This leads to more goods and services that are not consumer oriented; instead they are more market oriented.
One of the biggest challenges in agribusiness is the availability of agricultural land. The world must double its food supply due to the projected increase in population. Increased urban developments in agricultural rich areas have had a significant impact on crop production. Another challenge is the rising levels of population across the globe. This has led to an increase in demand within the international agribusiness market. An increase in demand often results into an increase in commodity prices within the entire supply chain. Water scarcity is also another challenge in international agribusiness. With the rising population and increase in urban developments, the proportion of domestic water consumption has also significantly increased. Improperly disposed water from urban centres and industries has also reduced the overall quality of water resources in most regions.
Soil degradation is also another challenge in international agribusiness. The severity and scope of soil degradation has continued growing in most parts of the world. Desertification, bad farming practices and land deprivation are some of the factors behind soil degradation. Land degradation has a significant impact on productivity within international agribusiness. Failure to embrace change has also affected the agribusiness supply networks. Some industries within the supply chain are unwilling or unable to adapt to technological changes. These changes play a significant role in increasing the overall output and reduce commodity prices within the supply chain (Newman 74).
Emerging trends in the farming sector have also contributed to some of the challenges within the food supply chain. Currently, numerous investors are shifting their focus from farming to other industries which are deemed more profitable and less risky such as technology and banking. If this trend continues, the number of farming projects will significantly reduce due to lack of capital. Recent studies have revealed that over 40 percent of farmers in the US want to give up farming. This is because they feel it is no longer as rewarding as before.
Akridge, Jay. Agribusiness Management Fourth Edition. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Barnard, Freddie. Agribusiness Management Fourth Edition. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Chambers, Maiko. Global Agribusiness Resource Guide: Government Assistance for International Investment, Joint Ventures and Trade. New York: Abt Associates,, 2010. Print.
Newman, Mark. Research in Domestic and International Agribusiness Management . New York: JAI Press, 2001. Print.
Thompson, Keith. Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Fruits and Vegetables. New York: CABI, 2010. Print.
Thompson, Augistin. Fruit and Vegetables: Harvesting, Handling and Storage. Boston: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print’.
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Toronto Traffic Problems
Toronto, the provincial capital of Ontario, is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with a population of approximately 2.8 million inhabitants. It is Canada’s largest city and the fourth largest city globally, and its rapid growth and development has made it a center of focus for researchers in developmental studies and demographics, among others. The city’s high population and rapid development has brought with it traffic congestion and stagnation, the most notable of which is the mounting gridlock that threatens to send it to a stop in the near future. The political gridlock surrounding government operations is one of the leading factors, which have not only failed to resolve the congestion issue, has also heightened it. This paper seeks to examine the root causes of the situation, including the political and economic factors. The paper further analyzes the actions that the government as well as the private sector have taken in order to rectify this problem.
Toronto Traffic Problems: The Political Gridlock
Toronto has continuously been in the headlines because of its transportation problems, the most notable of which is traffic congestion in almost all the major routes across the city. Given the high level of traffic problems in this region, both academic and government interest groups have carried out researches to identify the causes and propose solutions of the menace. According to the recent government estimates, the present traffic crisis leads to a loss of $11 billion from Toronto’s economy every year, up from $ 3 billion in 2006 (Transport Canada, 2006). This is because of the huge number of drivers who are normally stuck in the traffic jam every day, where they would be spending their productive hours in the office with their families back home (Cox, 2004).
Various studies reveal the increasing problems of congestion in the city of Toronto, as well as the role that the government plays to prevent further improvement as well as to worsen the situation. One such factor is political gridlock that exists between the Liberals and the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). However, very little information exists, which offers a clear indication of the steps that the government, or private investors may take to ease traffic congestion. This paper seeks to explore the traffic congestion problem in Toronto, with the aim of investigating the role of political gridlock in the failed attempt at finding the solution to the problem. The paper will further analyze how these disparities among political parties and major political figures have exacerbated the problem. In order to achieve this objective, the paper analyzes data from various primary and secondary sources to compile this study, which is divided into three sections. The first section offers a brief overview of Toronto and its recent developments. The second part analyzes the problem of transportation and traffic congestion and the third section offers some practical solutions to the problem.
Background to the Study
Toronto is home to some of the world’s most coveted transport infrastructures, including the Toronto Pearson International, Billy Bishop Toronto, Buttonville and Downsview Airports (Daniel, 2011). In addition, the city is served with several provincial and express highways, which include Highway 401, which has received much accolade for being the most travelled upon road in America, Allen roads Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway. These road systems were constructed using an architectural design known as a concession road system, by the colonial masters for easy access to their farms, most of which were divided into 100-acre plots (TomTom, 2012). The government of Toronto or the larger Ontario has never taken any substantial steps to change these designs or improve them to accommodate the rapidly growing population of the city. The government of Toronto is a municipal one, with the mayor as the head of the city, served by a forty four-member council. Despite the appealing nature of these road and air transport systems, the city lacks enough transportation system, which has led to continuous growth of traffic congestion within the region and beyond. Research has shown that Toronto is among the three worst cities in terms of traffic congestions in the entire Western Hemisphere, the other two being Vancouver and Montreal (TomTom, 2012). Today, Toronto has a population of approximately 2.8 million inhabitants, which is more than treble its population in 1950. This number is further increased when considering the population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which has nearly 6 million people. This city, which is also the provincial capital of Ontario, is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, as people immigrating into Canada preferring it as a favorite destination. Like many other large cities in the world, such as Buenos Aires, and New Delhi, Toronto is currently facing massive traffic problems partly because of its huge population and the poor urban planning and governance (TomTom, 2012).
As Cox (2004) rightly points out, the Government of McGuinty opines that construction of more roads only heightens the traffic level in the roads, thus increasing the congestion, rather than decreasing it. One of the solutions that planners initially proposed to solve this menace was constructing more roads as well as to increase the number of transits in operation. Unfortunately, researchers have found out that this action cannot solve the problem, following a study conducted on other cities across North America (Wood, 2012). This is because, while it may offer smoother transportation initially, the construction of new highways and introduction of new transit systems attracts more commuters into driving. This continues until the traffic problem is back to where it began, leading to a perennial vicious cycle.
Two facts are unavoidable in the current situation of the city. The first fact is that the population of the city is going to continue growing at a steady pace; and the second fact is that the city currently lacks any plans, whatsoever, to improve the current status of the traffic congestion. These two realities point to a much worse scenario in the near future, as figures from research reports clearly indicate. The Smart Growth Panel of Central Ontario has approximated that nearly all motorists in the city spend an additional 30% of their commuting time on the road during peak traffic hours, especially within the region of Golden Horseshoe. The same statistic predicted that this number would clamber to over 70% by 2030. This calls for the urgent need by the government to stop the political gridlock that has continued to exist between the federal and the local government (Wood, 2012).
This is because there were disjointed efforts from different parts of the government, with the then Federal Minister for transport, David Collenette, prioritizing Toronto transport system as a problem. In this regard, the federal government has been lobbying and disbursing funds, starting with the $600 million dollars issued by the federal government to support SHIP (Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program) and an additional $2 billion two years later. On the other hand, the City councilor, Olivia Chow, was against such massive highway and road constructions, advocating, instead, for an alternative transportation provision. In her opinion, the most viable option for the Toronto transportation would be increased lanes for bikes and Light Rail Transit (LRT). The City Hall, on the contrary to the two ongoing proposals already at the table, was considering congestion charging, in which the government monitors and charges drivers depending on how frequent they made a trip to the Central Business District and other priority centers. This pricing system is akin to that used in other cities such as Stockholm and London (Maria, Eliasson, Hugosson, and Karin, 2012).
Similarly, for Toronto Airport systems, several elements have led to an increased congestion over the years. The first reason for the dramatic increase is the rapid growing population of users of this mode of transport, which demanded for an increase in aircrafts and staffs (Daniel, 2011). In order to deal with this scenario, all of the airports under the Canada National Airport System expanded their sizes and operations to the optimum level. However, even this is not enough to curb the looming danger of traffic congestion that is expected to mount by 2030. According to Daniel (2011), one of the proposed and most viable solutions for this is the congestion pricing
The Historical Cost of Traffic Congestion
There have been wrangles within the Toronto government concerning the best solutions for the current traffic situation in the region, which started in the previous terms of leadership. In 2003, the costs of traffic congestion started skyrocketing, getting out of hand even for the city planners and the government. This was because of the most reliable route in Toronto then, the Toll route 407, lost nearly 20 million dollars within four months (Egbuna, 2003) and the prices of fuel and gas hit 70%. To make it worse for the motorists, the insurance companies increased their rates to the maximum and this called for the urgent need for the government to unite and operate together to find an amicable solution (Chowdhury, Santen, and Schadschneider, 2000).
Similarly, thousands of people lose up to four hours every week due to traffic congestion on the major roads in Toronto. This time would have been spent doing more productive work, or bonding with their families, rather than stuck in the middle of the highway at peak hours of the day. In addition, research has shown that congestion leads to delays in getting to work, school, hospital or other appointments on time, which may leads to the loss of business opportunity or other punitive measures. In addition, there are increased emissions of green house into the atmosphere, which come from wasted fuel while the vehicle is caught up in traffic jam. On a different note, traffic congestion reduces the ability of emergency services delivery. This is because, when the vehicles are stuck bumper-to-bumper, they make it impossible for ambulances and fire-extinguisher trucks to pass through in order to deliver urgently needed services.
Causes of the Congestion
Increased ownership and utilization of vehicles
This is a significant cause of increased traffic congestion, not only in Toronto, but also in every other city of the world. However, the situation is made worse in Toronto because almost seventy percent of the entire population with vehicles drive themselves to work. On top of this, non-motorists, such as cyclers and pedestrians also compete for the little space on the roads, thus increasing the stress that is already beyond control (Chowdhury et al., 2000). Another problem that facilitates congestion is the small number of passengers per vehicle. This is because, in most instances, the number of occupants that ordinary cars can carry ranges between four and eight. However, most vehicles are reportedly carrying only one or two people at any given time, as opposed to the public transport, which can carry over forty passengers per trip. However, most people prefer using their private means of transport because the government has neglected the public transport systems, with buses over 15 years old still carrying passengers. According to Chowdhury et al., (2000), this increases discomfort, thus making people less enthusiastic to use public means of transport to and from their homes.
In addition, poor planning within the federal and the local government has also resulted into the current congestion situation in Toronto. This is because, as it is in every other country around the world, the government has a bigger responsibility, than its citizens and private investors to ensure that, it provides sufficient social amenities to its ever-growing population. Despite that knowledge, the government of Canada, and the local Toronto government have both failed to meet the expectations of their subjects, who now have to bear the cost of poor planning (Helbing, 2001). For example, the political gridlock within the government has made it impossible for civil engineers to design the best passes for pedestrians and cyclists, making these groups share the congested roads with the motorists. In addition, the gridlock has led to construction of underperforming roads, some of which do not connect to the main roads. This leads to wastage of capital, space and other resources used in the construction.
While some political leaders in the local government, who support alternative methods of decongestion, are against construction of too many roads and highways, the municipality still engages in the construction of various passes through thoroughfares, which leads to the utilization of public space without solving the problem at hand. In addition, the poor planning within the government has led to placement of road signs in places they are not supposed to be.
This leads to increased congestion as opposed to easing the flow of traffic (Helbing, 2001).
Research within the government operations also shows that the dispute between the different political divide has increased corruption levels within the government. This increases the embezzlement of funds dedicated to serve in improving traffic conditions within the city. This also results into lapse in government implementation of laws, unevenness in the implementation and inadequate administration of justice to the criminal offenders. This not only stagnates the improvement of congestion in Toronto, but also makes the situation worse, as motorists become more ignorant of the laws they ought to follow (Gilles, and Turner, 2011).
One of the most palpable causes of traffic congestion in Toronto is the large number of private cars that owners use to commute to work, which carry an average of only two people. In this regard, the cheapest way to reduce the congestion problem is to encourage people to use public means of transport, which carry many people at the same time. The resultant effect will be decongestion and reduced air pollution because of fewer vehicles on the road. In addition, there will be massive savings from the unused gas needed to fuel the personal cars. One way of achieving this is by discouraging the use of private cars, such as by imposing additional taxes for every car driven or parked within the city (Gilles, and Turner, 2011).
The second solution to the traffic problem in Toronto is improvement of public transport systems. In light of this point, it is important to highlight the failure by the TTC in improving the conditions of transits within the city. Not only has the commission failed to bring in new transit systems into operation, but they have also let the old ones continue operating in deplorable conditions, thereby making it uncomfortable for the passengers (Jonas, 2009). In retrospect, the TTC must replace the old infrastructure with new ones, as well as service those still capable of maintaining comfort during operations. This will lure car owners into preferring the public transport systems, thus leading to a reduced congestion of the traffic.
Thirdly, it is imperative that the government improves the transport systems within the city, which requires massive planning and funding. This is due to the findings of previous research that the current transport infrastructure is not only inadequate, but also insufficient to accommodate the rapidly growing pollution. To handle this scenario, the government ought to consider alternative means of transport, such as subways, which run under the roads. In addition, the infrastructure can be designed to discourage use of private cars within priority areas, such as central business districts. In this light, the government of Toronto and Canada as a whole can borrow wisdom from cities like Stockholm and London, which are already using automated billing systems (Maria, et al., 2012). These systems use GPS, vehicle ID systems and cameras to locate every vehicle and automatically charge owners additional fees for access and parking whenever the go into the city center.
In order to achieve the objective of decongesting the traffic in Toronto, and perhaps in other cities within Canada, more has to be done. The following is a number of recommendations that all the stakeholders can uphold to realize the greater goal. Firstly, the government must stop the political gridlock that is currently making it impossible to implement any viable plans of decongesting the city transport systems. It can only achieve this by using the diversities between the political parties as a tool to collect different ideas for a lasting solution, rather than fighting against each other.
Secondly, the government must work together so as to come up with the necessary plans for implementing major projects like constructions of subways and billing systems. These are high cost projects that also take a long time to implement, which makes it impossible to implement based on political orientation. Moreover, the government must co-operate within itself to reduce the ongoing corruption that prevent implementation of legislation meant to protect the roads, road users and ensure safety of the public, while easing the flow of traffic.
Without doubt, this paper has demonstrated that there is indeed a massive traffic congestion problem within Toronto, making it among the worst cities in North America. the paper has also identified and discussed a number of reasons for this, which include high population, increased vehicle ownership and usage as well as poor implementation and planning. In addition, there are repercussions, which the city suffers due to this congestion. These include loss of billions of dollars from the economy, disruption of people’s schedules and increased pollution. The last two sections of the paper have outlined the solutions that can be used to remedy the situation, as well as pointed out some of the actions the stakeholders ought to take to alleviate the same. It is the hope of every Toronto citizen that the government shall stop the ongoing political gridlock and take necessary steps to reverse the situation.
Borjesson, Maria, Jonas Eliasson, Muriel B. Hugosson, and Karin Brundell-Freij (2012). The Stockholm congestion charges 5 years on. Effects, acceptability and lessons learnt. Transport Policy 20: 1-12.
Chowdhury, D., Santen, L., and Schadschneider, A. (2000). Statistical Physics of Vehicular Traffic and Some Related Systems. Phys. Rep., 329:199329.
Cox, W. (2004). How transportation Policy in Toronto is making things worse. Fraser Forum: Fraser Institute.
Daniel, J. I. (2011). Congestion pricing of Canadian airports. Department of Economics University of Delaware.
Duranton, Gilles, and Matthew A. Turner (2011). The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities. American Economic Review 101, 6: 2616-2652.
Egbuna, J. (2003). Urban Gridlock: Solving the Congestion problem in Canada’s largest-state. Corporate Knights.
Eliasson, Jonas (2009). A cost-benefit analysis of the Stockholm congestion charging system. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 43, 4: 468-480. Leape, Jonathan (2006). The London Congestion Charge. Journal of Economic Perspectives 20, 4: 157-76.
Helbing, D. (2001). Traffic and related self-driven many-particle systems. Rev. Mod. Phys., 73(4):10671141.
TomTom (2012). North American Congestion Index. Tom-Tom international BV. http://www.tomtom.com/lib/doc/congestionindex/2012-0704-TomTom-Congestion-index-2012Qlnamerica-mi.pdf
Transport Canada (2006). The cost of Urban Congestion in Canada. Government of Canada, http://www.adec-inc.ca/pdf/02-rapport/cong-canada-ang.pdf
Wood, J. (2012). Canadian cities can look to London and Stockholm for traffic solutions. Fraser Forum: Fraser institute.
TORONTO TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: THE POLITICAL GRIDLOCK 12
Running head: TORONTO TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: THE POLITICAL GRIDLOCK 1
The transportation problem of traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is among the most frequent transportation issues affecting many cities. It is connected with vehicle diffusion and motorization, which has improved the requirement for transportation infrastructure. However, infrastructure supply has failed to maintain the demands of mobility growth rate. Since automobiles invest the majority of time parking, motorization has extended the requirement for vehicle parking area, which has resulted in parking space issues particularly in main areas.
Vehicle parking and congestion are also connected since looking for a vehicle parking area makes additional setbacks and affects regional flow (NORTON 98). In large towns, cruising accounts for over 10 percent of the regional flow. This is because motorists must spend time identifying and locating parking areas. Such activities often lead to loss of time that would have otherwise been allocated to productive activities. Therefore, the government should adopt another policy of dealing with the problem of parking in urban areas in order to minimize the loses associated with time wasted.
Effective vehicle parking management can help cut down congestion. By utilizing “demand costs,” a strategy that increases the vehicle-parking rate in places with the higher vehicle-parking requirement, you can influence the number of vehicles parking there. However, in places with huge requirement, the owner of the preferred source can increase the money. In vehicle parking concept, an oft-touted objective is to accomplish 85% occupancy of your on-street stock. This guarantees you of maximum income while enabling enough open vehicle parking areas to provide new parkers, and so helps congestion (NORTON 59). However, other forms of regulation can help in dealing with parking problems associated with towns. For instance, the government can decide to limit the number of personal vehicles accessing major towns, which will reduce congestion and demand for parking (NORTON 67).
NORTON, P. D. Fighting traffic: the dawn of the motor age in the American city. Thesis (Ph. D.)–University of Virginia, 2002. Print.
Report On Eco-friendly Vehicles Versus Gasoline Vehicles and the Effects on the Environment to Steiger Automobile Firm
The automobile industry is gradually transforming in line with the technology and industrialization demands of the 21st Century. As such, new models and brands of automobiles emerges every day to define innovative minds amidst collaborative technological know how. However, the rate of industrialization from a history of pollution and prior human labor has created a controversy on environmental concerns and global climate changes (Gilbert, 2010). In the pretext of capitalism and profit maximization, major firms adopt philosophies and policies of utilitarianism as opposed to deontology. The sad fact is the nature of life span the environment is subjected and reduced. In many ways, the mortality of the ozone reduces as global warming begins to take center stage. The next step the driving community and Steiger automobile is to adopt eco-friendly vehicles that can conserve the environment and avert the imminent environment showdown. This project evaluates the added benefits of adopting eco-friendly vehicles as opposed to the mainstream gasoline consumption. The recommendations of the research asserts the need to establish a means to revert environmental feuds and correct the perpetual human-environmental conflict as contained in the UN charter (Koch, 2011).
Table of contents
Executive Summary ..04
Problem Statement .05
Methods Used .05
Findings …………… 06
A green vehicle is an illustration of an environmentally friendly device producing less dangerous results to the environment. The focus point in many such vehicles is the lack of an internal combustion system belonging to vehicles of gasoline and diesel tanks. Most green vehicles are often powered by the usage of alternative fuels. Steiger in the previous innovation of a Martini created a powerful vehicle using the gasoline system. Inasmuch as this innovation is prospectively and strategically beneficial to the public and the firm, several critics still believe that a better eco-friendly production in upcoming innovations could serve a better purpose in curbing environmental crises (Gilbert, 2010). This paper explains the various dimensions of going green in automobile producti0n and the variances to gasoline usage. The statistics and cases studies are mostly a product of the report.
The current world phenomenon is posing a tight challenge as the prices of fuel are occasionally on the rise. The prices are actually affecting residents from UK and USA where big changes are emerging in the automobile industry. According to Kunslter, the UK market alone has enacted two types of green cars (2012). The hybrid as well as the electric cars has become accustomed to the UK market as better alternatives to the gasoline consumption across the wide market expanse. Hybrids within the context of the US and UK markets include the Toyota Prius (see appendix) as well as the Auris. Others include the Honda Civic, Lexus, and Volvo (REF). These companies are out to manufacture hybrid models of the eco-friendly automobiles in the UK. Electric model manufacturers in the UK include the Renault system, the Mitsubishi firm, Nissan, Citroen as well as the Peugeot (Gilbert, 2010).
The reason for such a massive migration to eco-friendly products emanates from the gasoline usage index across the world. According to Black (1996), the number of gasoline used vehicles is still very high despite alarming environmental concerns. In many cases, the vehicles powered by gasoline have high fuel consumption through the internal combustion system that releases a variety of gases to the environment. Most of these non-combustible gases have a great potential of harming the ecosystem in a number of ways. Due to the depletion of the ozone and imminent ecosystem failure in the coming future, this research unveils the benefits of eco-friendly means of vehicle production.
With the current environmental degradation, the usage of eco-friendly vehicles is becoming a major source of controversy and speculation as to whether they can replace gasoline vehicles as an alternative means to safeguard the environment. This research aimed to establish whether eco-friendly vehicles really had an upper hand in terms of environmental conservation as compared to gasoline-powered vehicles.
Collecting information in this research engaged a variety of faculties due to the multi-disciplinary approach involved in environmental concern as well as the delicate case of automobile involvement with climate change. As a Steiger employee, the research team engaged a variety of automobile firms as well as customers from three countries. In the UK, the research targeted major automobile firms like the Nissan and the Volvo firms while in the US, the team focused on Detroit and two firms in Boston. The customers came from a variety of social classes, educational background, and environmental orientation. The purpose of choosing from various client bases was to establish appropriate means of connecting the green vehicle usage with gasoline-powered types. The team also evaluates a variety of budgets of several clients from the two variable drawing remarkable contrasts in their fuel consumption against fuel availability. Lastly, the research focused of government reports as well as media coverage for fuel shortage crises and the environmental orientation in line with climate change. The participants answered questionnaires and engaged in a short interview course with the team having set objectives and determinisms. The questionnaires were designed in such a manner that every participant could engage in short questions that did not belabor them for lengthy response. The data was juxtaposed to extract the benefits in line with the objectives of the project.
From the various interviews and data, a variety of information emerged regarding eco-friendly vehicles versus gasoline-powered devices. The result is detailed in the tabular form below.
Comparison between several green cars and gasoline cars within UK and USType of vehicle Fuel EconomyRangeProduction cost (PC)Reduction in CO2 compared to conventionalConventional ICE10-78Long (400-600 mi)Low0%Biodiesel17-70Long (350-550 mi)Low100%All electric55-115Shorter (75-170 mi)High
Very high (Luxury models)Source variationHydrogen fuel cell83UnrecordedAstronomicalNullHybrid electric40-65
The findings after extrapolation showed juxtaposition on the statistical data from the combination of two countries US and UK. As determined by the research, in the two countries, eco-friendly cars often run on electricity as well as a combination of electricity and hydrogen based fuel. These systems from the extrapolation and the interviews are cost effective means of transportation while subsequently reducing the value of carbon imprints in the atmosphere (Kunstre 2012). The following are the benefits of using eco-friendly vehicles as extracted from the research.
The clients prefer to buy such eco friendly cars because in the end, they spend less for fuel. For example, a hybrid Prius 46 has a capacity to carry over 11 gallons in its tank, which gives the driver an opportunity to drive for over 600 miles with the cost per mile at less than $ 0.08 (REF).
Drivers of eco-friendly vehicles and cars consume a minimum amount of natural resources. They also release less carbon dioxide while consume less fossils. In the research, it emerged that the eco-friendly drivers prefer to be environmental friendly and often do not suffer from fuel prices or fuel cuts across their regions of abode.
According to bills passed in the US lately, it emerged that drivers of eco-friendly cars often have tax breaks through an eligibility criteria of up to $ 3000 upon filing of taxes. According to Gilbert, not every eco-friendly vehicle has this buffer but majorities of them do (2010).
For steiger firm, it is vital to note that certain hybrids of cars in the eco-friendly zones often use sustainable and recyclable materials in their construction and maintenance. The construction of such vehicle’s interiors using sustainable materials ensures that the vehicles become eco-friendly and healthy for possession (Kunster 2012).
Less Dependence on foreign oil; over the last decades, the US government has been relying on foreign oil through trade. The establishment of eco-friendly vehicles poses little dependence of such sources. The reduced dependence emerges from the fact that most eco-friendly cars require fewer fuels across similar distances as the gasoline powered vehicles. The US will therefore have a reduced reliance o such imports alongside other major countries (Black, 1996).
The initial cost phenomenon: the initial price of purchasing a petrol run car as compared to that which is eco-friendly is quite huge. The eco-friendly cars are of course more expensive at the beginning almost over double the price of a gasoline run car. However, the initial cost of purchase becomes a factor when it comes to purchasing the fuel and maintenance after the purchase. For instance, the British gas system is offering a tariff reduction on payment plans and other auxiliary solutions; it becomes quite faster to acquire a long lasting solution as compared to the short-term mediations (Koch, 2011). Therefore, the numbers of people opting for eco-friendly cars are on the increase necessitating a need to produce more vehicles of such nature in the US and the UK.
Finally, the world is gradually getting oriented to the eco-friendly zone. Ethical production is determined by how eco-friendly your firm produces. Steiger has an opportunity to embark on this worthy cause through the production of environment sensitive products. The message the firm will be sending to clients and other competitors is the desire and resolve to help conserve biodiversity for the subsequent generation. Most educated drivers in the upcoming countries are taking to conservation of the environment. Such drivers and middle class members are gradually developing brands with firms that are ethically sensitive in issues such as the climate change and environmental sensitization. Everybody is trying to save in one way to counter the irregular depressions that emerge in the current world order. A decision to establish eco-friendly vehicles at Steiger will be a great revelation to many other countries and automobile firms wishing to attract a wider customer base.
(Toyota Prius C Courtesy of Better parts Limited)
Black, W R (1996). “Sustainable transportation: a US perspective”. Journal of Transport Geography (Elsevier) 4 (3).
Gilbert, Richard (2010), “Transportation is the Post Carbon World”, in McKibben, D, The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century Sustainability Crisis, Watershed Media, ISBN 978-0-9709500-6-2
Kunstler, James Howard (2012). Too Much Magic; Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation. Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 13:978-0-8021-9438-1
Wendy Koch (2011-04-12). “Greenest cars? Gas prices drive interest in fuel economy”.USA Today. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
ECO-FRIENDLY VEHICLES 7
Running Head: ECO-FRIENDLY VEHICLES 1
Should highway speed limits be increased or even banished?
In every state, there is a recommended speed limit for highways. This speed limit changes from one state to the other for various reasons. Some of the reasons that cause speed variation on states’ highways include the condition of the highways, purposes and locations (Black 161). Speed limits are designed to standardize driving speeds as well as enhance road safety.
Therefore, by setting an upper speed limit, states aims to reduce the number of road accidents and their severity. They also seek to coordinate driving behaviors on highways. This paper argues that speed limit should be increased, but not banished. According to this paper, banishing the speed limit would act in contrast to the aim of setting upper speed limits. Therefore, the highway authority should never banish speed limit. Instead, it should increase it to a reasonable limit within the 85th speed percentile.
To start with, increasing speed limit on the highways allows drivers and passengers to arrive at their destinations on time. It increases mobility by reducing time taken to travel from one point to the other. At the same, it ensures that drivers are safe because they must stick to a specified speed limit. For example, increasing the speed limit from 90km/hr to 100km/hr over a distance of one hundred kilometers reduces travel time by about seven minutes. It also restricts drivers from exceeding a speed limit of 100km/hr thereby ensuring that drivers are safe. In essence, drivers drive safely and arrive at their destinations on time with an increased speed limit (Rune et al. 450). This means that increasing speed limit enhances travel time and time efficiency. On the contrary, banishing speed limit and allowing drivers to select maximum speeds freely exposes them to risks. The highway authority is unable to control drivers’ speed limits. This implies that speed limits should be increased, but never banished.
Furthermore, increasing speed limit enhances time efficiency by reducing congestion on the highways because it allows vehicles to clear from the highways at a higher rate than low speed limits do. This is because capacities on the highways together with speed limit affect the movement of vehicles, which that facilitate movement of passengers and goods. According to Button et al., the high standards of highways facilitate movement of vehicles at high speed without compromising road safety (Button et al. 372).
Lund, on the other hand, claims that apposite speed limits ensure that people travel safely and arrive at their destinations on time. According to him, the American economy depends largely on transport industry and its ability to move goods and people fast from one point to the other such that its efficiency improves American economy (Lund 3). This implies that increasing speed limit would enhance transport industry by improving time taken to travel from point to the other. Therefore, increasing speed limit improves time efficiency.
Another issue to consider in determining whether speed limit on the highways should be increased or banished is the safety of drivers. This issue affects drivers as it affects other people that use highways, although it varies depending on how drivers view it. In most cases, drivers would oppose decreasing speed limit and would prefer increasing it. This is because decreasing speed limit would affect time taken to travel from one point to the other (Button et al. 372). Studies show that many drivers tend to drive responsibly because of their safety as well as the safety of their passengers. This suggests that increasing speed limit will not affect drivers’ safety because they will drive responsibly as they drive now.
On the other hand, increasing speed limit does not imply increasing speed limit anyhow. Instead, it implies increasing speed reasonably within the recommended limit of 85th speed percentile that does not put drivers’ lives at risk. Considering this, it would be reasonable to increase speed limit because it would set a maximum speed for the drivers to observe (U.S DTFHA Para. 6). This means that drivers would be safe because it would never jeopardize their safety. On the contrary, banishing speed limit would eliminate the maximum speed limit that drivers would observe such that drivers would never break any law driving at high speed. This would jeopardize the safety of drivers. Therefore, it would be reasonable to increase speed limit and never banish it (Shinar 348).
With regard to fuel consumption, many people presume that high speed consume greater amounts of fuels than low speed. However, this presumption is wrong because different vehicles consume fuel differently. This means that vehicles attain optimal rates of fuel consumption at different speeds. Consequently, if drivers drive vehicles at low speed than their optimal speeds, then they consume more fuel than they should consume at optimal speeds.
The same applies to drivers who drive at high speed without heeding to the optimal speeds of their vehicles. In general, every make of vehicle has its optimal speed that attains efficiency in fuel consumption (Black 161). Therefore, increasing speed limit leads to efficiency in fuel consumption by allowing drivers to attain optimal speeds for their vehicles. It gives them a wide range of speeds to choose from thereby allows them to use fuel efficiently. At the same time, it sets the maximum speed that drivers should never exceed; thus, protects their lives. On the contrary, banishing speed limits leaves drivers unrestricted. Although it would give drivers, a wide range of speeds to choose from, it never considers their safety. This means that banishing speed limits endangers the lives of drivers (Button et al. 372). Therefore, highways authorities should increase speed limit at reasonable rate and never banish it. This would enhance fuel consumption and protect drivers.
From another perspective, low speed limits are usually less efficient because they do not attain optimal speeds. In essence, they lead to inefficient consumption of fuel. Conversely, increasing speed limits enhances fuel consumption by allowing drivers to attain optimal speeds over a wider range of speed limits. According to Black, policy makers rarely consider optimal speed in setting speed limits (Black 161). He argues that setting speed limits usually takes place without taking into consideration the real issues of fuel consumption. He cites the American 55 miles per hour speed limit set by the congress in 1974 and later changed in 1995 to allow states set their own speed limits. According to him, the current speed limits between 55 and 75 miles per hour are far away from optimal speed limits for many vehicles in America (Black 162). This indicates that it would be reasonable to increase speed limit, but not banish it. By so doing, drivers would be safe and fuel consumption would be efficient.
Increasing speed limit would affect drivers’ behaviors differently. Some would seek to attain optimal speeds to consume fuel efficiently while others would seek to drive recklessly. Many researches show that road accidents occur because drivers fail to respect speed limit while driving (Shinar 348). Some of them argue that adherence to speed limits protects the lives of drivers while others never support that argument based on drivers’ behaviors.
According to U.S DTFHA, drivers select their driving speed aiming at reaching their destinations safely. As a result, many of them drive in a prudent and reasonable manner. This department claims that drivers’ behaviors are usually extensions of their social attitude such that they respond in reasonable and safe manner. This means that changing speed limits would never affect drivers’ behaviors and if it would, it would affect a small number of them. The result of a research conducted by U.S DTFHA showed that reducing speed limit by 32km/hr or increasing it with 24km/hr had insignificant effect on drivers’ behaviors while on the road. This research showed that majority of the drivers never exceeded the speed limit by 8km/hr (U.S DTFHA Para. 2). This indicates that increasing the speed limit within the 85th percentile speed would never affect drivers’ behaviors. Therefore, this research supports increasing speed limit and not banishing it.
Banishing speed limit allows the reckless drivers to drive at high speed beyond expectations. Such cases usually occur among the young drivers who feel that they can drive comfortably at high speeds and those who feel that their driving capabilities are beyond average. This means that such behaviors are independent of changes in speed limit because even without increasing speed limit they would still exist. According to this research paper, many drivers would seek to attain optimal speeds to consume fuel efficiently. In addition, with speed restriction that defines the maximum speed limit, drivers would drive responsibly (U.S DTFHA Para. 6).
On the other hand, it is the view of this research paper that enforcing speed limit increases road safety by preventing road accidents and banishing speed limits exposes drivers to road accidents. Therefore, increasing speed limit and defining the maximum speed enhances fuel consumption, never changes drivers’ behaviors and at the same time protects the lives of drivers. Based on this argument, speed limit should be increased, but never banished.
This research paper argues that speed limit on the highways should be increased, but never banished. According to this research paper, banishing speed limit allows drivers to select their speed limit freely without restricting them to the most suitable speed limit. This allows drivers to jeopardize their safety and that of passengers. On the contrary, increasing speed limit and setting the maximum speed for the drivers does the following. First, it enhances safety on the road by allowing drivers to have a wide range of speed limits to choose from when driving on the highways. By so doing, drivers tend to be responsible as they drive and reduce chances of breaking the law.
Second, increasing speed limit never affects drivers’ behaviors because with or without speed limits drivers depend on social attitude as they drive. Third, increasing speed limit facilitates movement on the highways by reducing congestion. Fourth, increasing speed limit enhances fuel consumption. Based on these four outcomes, speed limit should be increased, but never banished.
Black, William. Sustainable transportation: problems and solutions. New York: Guildford Press, 2010. Print.
Button, Kenneth. et al. A Dictionary of Transport Analysis. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2010. Print.
Lund, Victor. The 70-mph speed limit: speed adaptation, spillover and surrogate measures of safety. Ann Arbor: Proquest, 2007. Print.
Rune, Elvik. et al. The handbook of road safety measures. Bingley: emerald, 2009. Print.
Shinar, David. Traffic safety and human behavior. Amsterdam, London: Elsevier, 2007. Print.
U.S DTFHA. Effects of raising and lowering speed limit. Viewed on 22nd May, 2013 from http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/sl-irrel.html
Insert surname 3
Impacts of Metro System on Land and Property Values in a City
Transport system and property are extremely essential in both economic and physical development. As transportation system expands, the property and land value also increases. Cities with immensely developed transport system have high housing prices. The expansion of transport system has led to the development of Metro System. Metro System is urban rail transit systems with particular right-of way, be it at grade, underground, or elevated. A highly developed transport system is known by ease of use, connectivity, traffic density, level of service, and compactness. An access to key roads offers relative advantages to commercial users. The knowledge on the impact of the metro system of property values is normally truncated and constrained to anecdotal without firm foundation to judge the potential influence of the development (Andrew, et al. 303).
Metro system provides public transport which plays a vital role in providing mobility to the memebers of public and ensuring that they can gain access to opportunties which exists withiin their region. Transpor system is suppose to offer equal opportunities for movement and partaking in communal life. Unraveling the association between transport sytem and land use is a distress to officials, planners, and researchers. Populated cities in the world have concertated mostly in builting on high-capacity city transit systems. Other than the economic benefits like reduced travel time and environmental benefits, there are othere indiect benefits linked with Metro System. These benefits are increased real estate values, enhanced accessibility, and change of land use (Derrible 156). The Mexico City and New York Metro Systems are integral part of the cities and the neighboring suburbs. With this assignemnt, the study hopes to understand the consequences of Metro System on both Mexico City and New York area.
It is commonly acknowledged that transport system and urban development are directly interrelated. The spartial distribution of individual activities like working and living raises movement demand of goods and people. Planners have put in much effort in an exertion to clarify the veiled associations of land use and transport. From a transport point of view, accessiblity and proximity are key words. Accessibility is the ease at which activities may be reached from a given location by way of specific transport system. Proximity is defined as the nearness to a specific location. Any change in the above variables of transport system affects property value and land use (Cohen and Catherine 458).
The effect of metro system on property value varies according to a number of variables. These effects are great on a piece of land located within a walking distance from the metro stations. Metro System provides access to employment places to its residents. The accessibility will influence greatly the property values within that region. It is believed that the more a transit system is developed, the higher the impact it will have on the property values of the neighborhood. People prefer living or renting office spaces near great transport systems. The availability of land development lands around Metro stations has a positive impact on property values (Diaz 1).
The accessibility provided by Metro System to its dwellers has profound effect on the consequential change in property values. Here is an example of how metro system affects property value. In a peak, a commuter railway line can make single family homes more expensive but it will eventually have a little influence on multi-family housing with large proportion of its residents relying on reliant. On the same note, convectional business day employers will be forced to pay for premiums so that they will be allowed to work near commuter rail stations.
The problem of accessibility furthermore implies that when a metro system in some regions expands, property values become expensive. Some regions that did witness any development before will be highly developed and the property value will be high as well. Property values will keep on increasing but the zoning effects may alter the trend. It will be a good move for low-income earners but a bad move for property developers. For indeed, the development of Metro System will affect the value of commercial and residential properties which will in return affect the lives of city residents (Diaz 2).
The paper will discuss two case studies. The first case study is the Metro System in New York and the second is Metro System in Mexico City.
Case study 1: New York City
New York Metro System is one of the largest in the world in trail mileage and numeral stops. The system is the only one that operates 24 hours in the world. In New York City, the Metro System was operated as transit business with no real estate property to offset capital loss. The role of transit suburbanizing in New York is quite different from the anticipated urban revolutions lead by transit development in the 21st century. The relationships between transportation system and land development in New York City is seen in three ways.
The first form is that transport system expansion in the city that has led to land development. This was seen when real estate investors invested in transportation system in order to elevate the value of land holdings. Secondly, joint development occurred and transportation system was built along with new buildings. Transport connections were made based on population growth in new regions. Finally, transport system in New York was set up to serve areas within the city that were already developed. Proximity of regions to the New York Metro System has had positive effects on high-income individuals and negative impact on low-income individuals. The out outcome is that many people are not in a position to live in the neighborhood thus increasing crime rates (Hess and Tangerine 1050).
The incentives following the construction of the New York Metro System were numerous. The most apparent one was anticipated that the Metro could help to deal with an increasing problem of traffic congestion in the city by increasing the number of people using the public transport. The nature of relationships between public transport and close by land uses depends mostly on the regulatory structure. The potential of Metro System-oriented development patterns and associated benefits of land values were negated by unsuitable zonings. New York City does not have practical mixed zone districts in their zoning organization system. The Metro system in New York has offered fast and direct relations between employment centers and workforce population (Fuchs 43).
Realizing the potential for augmented value of property in a Metro System necessitates the need to build more projects that are complex. The projects will bring about high costs of development and high risks. In a number of places, the cost of one square foot of multi-story buildings has become considerably higher when it is compared to the cost of low-rise buildings that has surface parking. Such projects will only be practical when property values and rents will be high enough to tilt the balance to vertical development. The immense existence of dwellings in New York City has provided a superior way of connecting accessibility and distance. When accessibility and distance are related to land values, they will constantly raise residential land values (Stalter 323).
Transportation infrastructure provides access to different locations. When the infrastructure gets better, access to diverse places will also increase. This will make the value of land to be more attractive for development as well as re-development. In this perspective, transport system and land development depend on each other. Transport systems are designated to serve economic and social needs of people. Land development is always reliant on access to transport network. With the highly developed Metro System, there has been mass influx of people to the city. This has increased the population significantly. The high property values have reduced the number of homeowners and most of the population is living in poor conditions that have escalated crime rates (Ihlanfeldt 273).
Case study 2: Mexico City
Historically, Mexico City has been the destination of immigrants from various parts of Mexico. The city has been the prime location for all forms of economic activity for a long time. In addition, the city has been the midpoint for coordination and decision-making for Mexican government. In the metropolitan level, there were changes in urban structure stemming from re-adjustment in labor and housing labor markets (Debrezion, Eric, and Piet 508). In Mexico City, suburban spatial separations emerge to be increasing because of transport system expansion. Spatial segregation outlines are reflection of human behavior arbitrated by variables such as family and individual migration history as well as peripheral forces linked to physical form of life and cultural images (Gilbert 440).
As the population of cities grows, transportation system becomes a bit complex. The complexities challenge the main objective of transportation. The case of Mexico City Metro System offers an enlightening case study as regard to the impacts of transportation system on land and property values. Mexico City has grown greatly to be one of the largest cities in the world. The city holds the uncertain peculiarity of being one of the most polluted cities in the world (Graizbord, Allison, and Adrian 504). Transport system has served as the basic backbone of every suburban in the Mexico City. It was because of Metro System development that the economic growth of Mexico City was improved. The economic growth later created transportation outcomes that led to increased motorization and increased trip rates (BABALIK-SUTCLIFFE 415).
From 1970s, there has been substantial increase in urban rail investment. In general, Metro System was considered an instrument that could alleviate transport problems in the city. The success of Metro System is seen in terms of its sensation in gratifying the expectations of the investments. With developed transport system in Mexico City, the value of land and property rose high. This has scared away several potential homeowners. The outcome is that the price-friendly neighborhoods have become over-populated (Diaz 7).
The impact of Metro System on property values is an indication that the positive effects on property values are highly felt in a very restricted distance away from a transit stations. Such distances are determined by the distance of a realistic walk (let us say up to half a mile) from the station. Further than this distance, the effects of nearness to facility on property values become insignificant. Accessing stations using automobiles will therefore have partially noticeable effects on the value of land and other properties. The degree into which a property value increases is influenced by transit market penetration to the particular area (Diaz 7).
The highly developed Metro System in Mexico City attracted many people to the city. With the high population, the prices of commodities escalated creating social stratification. Individuals that are not capable of buying the now expensive properties will settle on other means of survival. Such a move has raised security concerns in the Mexico City. There has been illegal drug trade. Moving from one location to the other in the city has proved to be risky ventures. The lives of city residents have been greatly affected by this (Ihlanfeldt 273).
Comparing and Contrasting Mexico City
Mexico and New York cities have similarities and differences that make them distinctive. The two cities grew up because of transport system expansion. Furthermore, the cities grew up because of influence from European immigrants. New York has a greater network depth per population because of its low population and long network when it is drawn into comparison to Mexico City. The expansion of the transportation system lead to the development of Metro System in the two cities, which later saw land and property values rise significantly.
New York City is mostly a multinational culture; it is more liberal when compared to that of Mexico City. The defining attribute is English language and Spanish language. Individuals living in Mexico City must understand Spanish language in order to survive but the contrary is that few individuals understand Spanish when compared to those who understand English language. The main cultural background of New York City is hip-hop and Harlem. This was captured from the Harlem revival and it has led to a generational change. Dance and music plays an important task cultural dynamism and change. In general, it can be said that New York City in residents live dynamic and vibrant lives capable of accommodating people from various parts of the world.
A direct link existx between Metro System and resulting travel pathways accessible to the city residents. The transport of a city will become complecated as the city grows in area, population, and wealth. Developing a transport system in an Urban area provides the residents access to learning institutions, Jobs, and other every day needs that can ease the movement of goods and services. New York City and Mexico City both represent transformation and challenges that are facing urban centers in the 21st century. The development of Metro System has promoted high prices in property values (both residential and commercial). The facts about the impact of Metro System on property values has been abridged and limited to anecdotal without a basis of judging the future influence it will have on development. Escalating property values have generated high pressure to the city residents. Their social aspects has become curtailed leading over-population in cheap estates and poor living conditions for the poor. This has become a springboard for crimes in the city.
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BABALIK-SUTCLIFFE, ELA. “Urban Rail Systems: Analysis of the Factors behind Success.” Transport Reviews 22.4 (2002): 415-447.
Cohen, Jeffrey P., and Catherine Morrison Paul. “The Impacts of Transportation Infrastructure on Property Values: A Higher-Order Spatial Econometrics Approach.” Journal of Regional Science 47.3 (2007): 457-478.
Debrezion, Ghebreegziabiher, Eric Pels, and Piet Rietveld. “The Impact of Railway Stations on Residential and Commercial Property Value: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Real Estate Finance & Economics 35.2 (2007): 161-180.
Derrible, Sybil. “Reviewing and Assessing the Toronto Metro System.” Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering 39.2 (2012): 154-162.
Diaz, Roderick B. “Impacts of rail transit on property values.” American Public Transit Association Rapid Transit Conference Proceedings. 1999.
Fuchs, Ester R. “Governing the Twenty-First-Century City.” Journal of International Affairs 65.2 (2012): 43-56.
Gilbert, Alan. “Bus Rapid Transit: Is Transmilenio A Miracle Cure?” Transport Reviews 28.4 (2008): 439-467.
Graizbord, Boris, Allison Rowland, and Adrian Guillermo Aguilar. “Mexico City as a Peripheral Global Player: The Two Sides of the Coin.”Annals of Regional Science 37.3 (2003): 501.
Hess, Daniel Baldwin, and Tangerine Maria Almeida. “Impact of Proximity to Light Rail Rapid Transit on Station-Area Property Values in Buffalo, New York.” Urban Studies (Routledge) 44.5/6 (2007): 1041-1068.
Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. “Rail Transit and Neighborhood Crime: The Case of Atlanta, Georgia.” Southern Economic Journal 70.2 (2003): 273.
Stalter, Sunny. “The Subway Crush: Making Contact in New York City Subway Songs, 1904-1915.” Journal of American Culture 34.4 (2011): 321-331.
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AverageSize Hovercraft: Literature Review
A hovercraft is a vehicle that hovers just above the ground or over snow or water by a cushion of air (Razak 2000, cited in Bin Nawi, 2005, p.1). Although hovercrafts have been used public transportation in Europe from the 1960s, it is designed for the purpose of research and other studies (Lefeux, 2001). The design takes into consideration the use of the craft.
This literature review focuses on an average-size hovercraft (1-2 persons). However, it is important to note that the review might not seem to emphasize this specificity of size. The implication is that the design of hovercrafts is the same so that the only difference is that of the size and quantity of building material. The review is, therefore, largely general: design, operation, as well as environmental implications of hovercrafts, among others.
Hovercrafts are known as air cushion vehicles. In other words, the volume of air beneath it supports the craft’s load. Either aerodynamic or aerostatic force or both generate all the motion and movement of the craft (Cagle, 1970). For example, an average-size hovercraft can draw from a gas-powered engine that has approximately 1 horsepower for the lift and about 5 horsepower for thrust forward.
Bin Nawi (2005) explains the principle behind the air cushion effect. He likens it to the effect between the table and tablecloth when a person was to drop the tablecloth perfectly horizontally’. In such a case, the tablecloth lands gently by because of the air trapped underneath it: the air escapes, of course, but it makes a temporary cushion’ (Bin Nawi, 2005, p.4). By pumping in a steady supply of air in order to keep pace with the connection between round the sides, the cushion of air that makes the hovercraft hover’ above a surface is maintained. According to James Pruett (1973, cited in Bin Nawi, 2005), there is a degree of leakage allowed so the craft is free to move. However, such a leakage is supposed to be limited so that only minimum power is required to keep up the air supply (Pruett, 1973, cited in Bin Nawi, 2005, p.4).
To attain and maintain this appropriately limited leakage, designers use various methods.
Source: Adapted from Bin Nawi (2005)
Figure 1 above is a basic structure of a hovercraft. It is pretty much like a bowl turned upside down. It is fitted with a propeller and an engine. The propeller sucks air in through a hole at the top and forces it (the air) into the hollow section beneath. When the fan rotates, the air within the bowl-structure increases quickly and pushes against the sides of the bowl-structure. Yun and Bliault (2000) liken this to the same mechanism that happens when one blows air into a balloon and it (the air) pushes against the sides of the balloon. The only difference, however, is that in the hovercraft, the bowl is not elastic like the balloon. Therefore, instead of forcing the rubber to stretch, the air forces the bottom of the bowl off the ground. As the bowl lifts off the ground, air escapes through the space all around the hovercraft’s bottom. However, because the fan keeps on pumping air in fast enough to keep pace in the rate of leakage, the bowl will remain supported and the faster the air is pumped in the higher the bowl rises (Conyers et al., 2005, p.7). Figure 2 below is a simple diagram showing this process.
Figure 2: Air Cushion Supply Process
Source: Adapted from Bin Nawi (2005)
According to Dally, et al. (2007), a well-designed hovercraft should have less drag and requires less horsepower for it to move. These features result in higher speed, as well as better fuel consumption. For example, Yun and Bliault (2000) assert that the hovercraft gets almost twice the fuel mileage of a boat of the same size or capacity.
The fan facilitates lift-off and thrust. In this average-size hovercraft, the fan’s output could be fixed and adjustment allowed providing as much as ½ ground clearance depending on the weight of the rider. Moreover, the rider using the handle mechanism located on the steering device can throttle the fan.
Beside the fan, a hovercraft also consists of a hull. This is normally made of two resin moldings and large fiberglass. These components have a floatation made of Styrofoam or polystyrene bounded and sandwiched between them. The two hull moldings, one above and one below, are joined together. To add strength and provide a point of attachment for the skirt segment, an aluminum angled beam is riveted around the hull (Bin Nawi, 2005). Replaceable skirt ties are attached to the hull at the bottom of the segment. These are designed so they can detach when pulled hard. This helps to prevent the nylon neoprene segments from ripping if they get hook up on obstacles (Hawthorn, et al., 2004). It takes only seconds to replace a tie.
By design, about 30 percent of the airflow coming from the fan passes through the opening on the hull, just behind the fan and into the plenum, (this is the space between the inner and outer hull moldings). The air enters the skirt through a series of holes found around the outer hull or the edge. This air has enough volume and pressure to lift the entire hovercraft, as well as keep it just above the surface. The air remains under the hull, held by the skirt system (hanging down the ground). So that little air is lost on uneven land surface or choppy water, each skirt segment has the individual ability to deflect when the craft passes over bumps (Schleigh, 2006).
A combination of body weight displacement and the air rudder located behind the fan steers the craft. However, although the mechanism is the same, the steering characteristics vary depending on the surface traversed. When on water, wind has noticeable effect on the direction that the hovercraft takes. Slopes can also have the same effect. Therefore, it is advisable to steer the hovercraft in such a way as to offset these factors. To stop, the twist grip throttle located on the handlebars are released progressively and the craft is allowed to come to a stop. It is also possible to attain a 180 degrees turn and fan acceleration against the direction of motion (Conyers, 2007, p.11) on most surfaces until hovercraft comes to a stop.
Hovercrafts have not been off the environmental debate. For a vehicle to operate economically it is necessary, to keep the drag (that is, the resistance to motion) must be kept to a minimum. On water, most drag is the result of the motion of vessels hull. To minimize drag and, at the same time, the propulsive power, the hull contact is reduced. As already discussed above, to achieve this, low-pressure air from the air cushion beneath the craft utilized, lifting the hull from the water. Moreover, this air propulsion generates forward movement and gives the hovercraft amphibious characteristics (ability to traverse on land and water). This ability means that the hovercraft can use direct routes across marshes and flats, as well as across sandbanks without loss of speed or comfort.
Questions have arises as to what effects this ability can have on rivers and tidal estuaries, as well as shore environment (including mudflats, beaches and vegetation, among others). Bin Nawi (2005) argues that this ability on the hovercraft has virtually nil effect on the environmental areas mentioned because of its low pressure footprint. Breaking this down, Bin Nawi (2005) notes that an average human being standing on a beach exerts a pressure of about 1/3lbs per square inch. This is regardless of the speed. The hovercraft’s footprint is less than this: the hovercraft’s footprint pressure is less than that of a seagull standing on one leg (Bin Nawi, 2005, p.8).
The hovercraft also does not create noise (under water or on the surface), only what is typical of any diesel truck. This is because the craft has no underwater propeller or protrusions. This helps to eliminate the usual thrashing noise that is characteristic of propeller driven craft and negates any possible damage to erosion on the seabed when operating on shallow water. This means that the fish and other marine life are not affected. Independent scientific tests have confirmed these facts. For example, in their study on the contribution of hovercrafts on noise pollution, Houghton and Carpenter (2003) concluded, proper hovercraft propulsion propellers are designed with low tip speed to minimize atmospheric noise (p.13).
Moreover, the hulls in many hovercrafts are sealed units. In other words, any accidental fluid leakages and discharges are fully contained within the hull structure and stays there until it is pumped out at an appropriate facility at the shore. At the same time, unlike many conventional watercrafts, the hovercraft does not discharge exhaust into the water. This eliminates pollution of marine life by oil and other fuel particles.
As mentioned in the introduction, this literature review has mainly focused on the design and operation of hovercrafts. It has briefly discussed the basic views on the environmental effects of hovercrafts. From this review, the focus turns to designing an average (1-2 people) hovercraft, which is only a matter of material size and quantity. Otherwise, everything is the same, depending on the choices made by the designer. For example, the craft could range from 4-4.5 feet long by 3.5 feet wide and 3 feet high. This should be a weight of about 50-55 pounds. Ultimately, design takes into consideration several factors, including implementation, usefulness, cost, originality, and overall aesthetics, among others (Schleigh, 2006).
Bin Nawi, I. (2005). The Development of Small Scale Hovercraft Unit, Bachelor Degree
of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering: Kolej Universiti Teknikal Kebangsaan Malaysia
Cagle, M.W. (1970). Flying Ships: Hovercraft and Hydrofoils, Dodd Mead
Conyers, M., Walker, A. & Warwick, B. (2005). Project Phase 2: Physical Hovercraft
Design, Mechatronics: University of Victoria
Conyers, M., Walker, A. & Warwick, B. (2007). Mechatronics Lab Book.
Dally, J. Calabro, K., Fourney, W., Pertmer, G. & Zhang, G. (2007). Introduction to
Engineering Design, Book 9 2 nd edition: Engineering Skills and Hovercraft Missions, College House Enterprises, LLC Knoxville Tennessee
Hawthorn, J., Oram, J. & Sullivan, T. (2004). Seng 466 Mechatronics Project 2
Houghton, E.L. & Carpenter, P.W. (2003). Aerodynamics for Engineering
Students, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltf, 5th Revised Edition
Lefeaux, J. (2001). Whatever Happened to the Hovercraft? Pentland Books
Schleigh, J. (2006). Construction of a Hovercraft Model and Control of its
Motion, Undergraduate Report
Yun, L. & Bliault, A. (2000). Theory & Design Air Cushion Craft, Butterworth-Heinemann,
AVERAGE-SIZE HOVERCRAFT 6
Running head: AVERAGE-SIZE HOVERCRAFT 1
Transportation Impact on Environment
Transportation remains one of the important pillars of the global economic growth. Development of the various modes of transport over the past centuries have led to ease of movement of people, goods, and services at the international level, thus leading to the rapid growth of civilization of many countries. The most advanced modes of transportation are air, rail, water, space, pipeline, road, among others. As much as transportation is hailed for the rapid economic growth and globalization, many people hold on to the fact that it is also the cause of the present environmental problems.
Many studies point out that environmental pollution has been on the increase because of transport related activities. For this reason, global warming has been on the increase because of the Carbon dioxide emissions. The result has been the continued environmental degradation in many parts of the world, the natural habitat suffering most from the unpredictable climatic conditions.
Bardi, Coyle, & Novack (2006) elaborate the gains that have been realized in terms of transportation. According to their work, development of transport can be traced before World War I at the beginning of the 20th Century, when automobile use became common. The invention and development of the first airplane led to the ease of moving people and goods over long distances. They assert that innovations made on over the years have contributed to the current civilizations and globalization in the world. Doing business has become easy because the means of transporting goods and services are readily available and affordable.
The trade between different economies is easily done as perishable goods can easily be transported over long distances within a short time. In essence, Bardi, Coyle, & Novack (2006) believe that the current transportation has enabled the production and consumption of goods and services to be done at different geographical locations. Stopford (1997) also indicates that economic growth is determined by the development of transportation system in place. He points that the tourism industry is a major economical contributor to many economies of the world.
On the other hand, Fuglestvedt et al (2008) found out that transport has led to more harm to the environment than any known benefits. According to them, development of the transport network and systems has led to an increased pressure on the environment. First, transport relies on petroleum as the main source of energy. Burning of petroleum pollutes the air by emitting Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Nitrogen Oxides, and other dangerous particulates. Nitrogen Oxides and other particulates may cause serious respiratory diseases to the people who inhale them. Their work shows that global warming continues to pose grave threats to the environment by interfering with the climatic conditions. This is caused by the emission of Carbon Dioxide burnt from the petroleum products during transportation. In fact, they found out that emissions of CO2 continue to increase because of the increased demand for transportation means in the world, something that poses more threats to the environment. It is becoming more difficult to predict climatic conditions because of global warming, and as a result, the natural habitat is receiving less rainfall.
Emission from vehicles is the major source of environmental pollution. The efforts to reduce this problem have not bore fruits because of the increased demand and possession of individual vehicles for personal use. Furthermore, Fuglestvedt et al (2008) indicate that transportation systems have become environmental problems because of the traffic congestions that are evident in major towns. For this reason, the system ends up slowing the economic activities rather than improving the situation. The ever-increasing manufacture and use of automobiles has also led to the interference of the natural habitat like forests and agricultural lands that are useful for other activities (Fuglestvedt, et al, 2008). Much of such habitat is cleared to create space for roads and packing for either automobiles or airports for airplanes.
Air quality is also affected by the amount of transportation emissions. Air transport is also mentioned as an important contributor to air emissions. Research shows that the establishment of shorter air routes led to higher air pollution as compared to longer routes. This comes because of the high amount of jet fuel burnt during takeoff and landing (Fuglestvedt, et al, 2008). On the same note, noise pollution is another problem that human settlements near roads and airports have to contend with on everyday basis. However, the opponents of this argument advocate for the development of many road networks that are away from the human settlements, something that has negative environmental implications. Lastly, water pollution is another problem caused by the storm water from roads as well runoff from urban places (Burton & Pitt, 2001). Such water carries heavy metals and other substances that are dangerous to the aquatic ecosystem.
The above analysis gives a clear perspective on the impact of transportation on the environment. It is no doubt that development has led to the current globalization and economic growth. Life has become much easier because of the ease of movement of people, goods, and services. However, it is also evident that the continued growth of this sector presents great environmental threats to both natural habitat and humanity. Air and water pollution from the sector has led to increased global warming as well as death of plants and animals. The best option to mitigate against the impending danger is to come with other innovations that utilize other forms of energy like electricity. Electric trains may work better; otherwise, environmental degradation will bring more danger in the human-environmental system.
Bardi, E., Coyle, J., & Novack, R. (2006). Management of Transportation. Thomson South:
Western. ISBN 0-324-31443
Burton, A., & Pitt, R. (2001). Storm water Effects Handbook: A Toolbox for Watershed Managers, Scientists, and Engineers. New York: CRC/Lewis Publishers.
Fuglestvedt, J. et al (2008). Climate forcing from the transport sectors, vol. 105, no. 2.
Stopford, M. (1997). Maritime Economics. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-15310-7.
Running head: TRANSPORTATION IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT 1
Running head: TRANSPORTATION IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT 1
IMPACT OF BLENDING ICT IN ACCOUNTING 3
TRANSPORTATION IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT 2
It is understood that transport policy is a traditionally geared towards giving aid to transportation sector, which include modes like the airplanes, trucks, and even automobiles (Riley, 2004). This actually interconnects the international community at large thus enhancing cordial interaction as far as trade and transport systems are concerned. The United States has developed a policy of National intermodal transportation system, which is so efficient economically that it enables it to compete fairly among other nations in the globe economy. The intermodal transport majorly deals with freight transportation, which began in early 1980s as double stack with ocean carriers and rails hauls conjoining.
Since the introduction of the double stack method, there has been signification transformation in shipping. There are also the intelligent transportation systems, which depend on modern technology for better performance Information technology notwithstanding. The advantages of using these systems range from boosting of productivity, speeding up the work, as well as aiding in the environmental effects. The revenue has as a result increased (Muller, 1999).
It is true that US is one good nation that is well equipped with innovations. However, it is worth noting that it is not the best state to catalyze the innovation of the intermodal transportation. First, the nuclear innovation is one thing that raises eyebrows in the United States because there is a possibility that a tragic accident would occur at the nuclear plant leading to destruction o0f many live property loss notwithstanding. It should therefore be clearly understood that the writer does not have my support as far as his support of the US is concerned. History has it that in 2011 there was loss of primary power ion the nuclear power plants in fact five plants because of the earthquake and severe natural catastrophe like flooding and tornados (Riley, 2004). In as much as backup power was brought in to avert the disaster, however weather factors can never be altered because course of nature can never be diverted. In addition to that, there are other risk factors as mentioned below.
Type of nuclear reactor: In the united stated are two kinds of the nuclear reactors, which are pressurized water reactor and boiling water reactors. The former is very risky and harmful to human life as it releases radiations in case of a tragic accident.
Reactors age: The operation life span of the reactor ought to have been 40years,however the commission in charge of the nuclear reactor regulation has prolonged the span to 60years as opposed to the manufacturers 40 year expectation.
The consequences of the nuclear power are grave. A single rad of radiation inflicted in a person would render the person a cancer patient statistically one in every a thousand. This is regardless of age and even sexes of the affected individuals (Riley, 2004). The NRC tend to think that nuclear power accidents are few such that only a person out of ten thousand per annum is endangered .It should however be realized that one life is too expensive to lose due to an accident that is rare but very fatal. This is not inevitable Take for instance the Japan blow where a good number were nakedly exposed to the radiation from the nuclear power at Fukushima there by increasing the probability of them suffering cancer .T he cost of this accident however incurred a very high cost greater than US dollar 100 billion. There were also adverse effects on the environment as well and was projected to last long and even affect the subsequent generations. It is also worth to note that a meltdown could also take place and this would be more tragic to the US citizens.
When it comes to technology in this nation, it is primarily motivated by rapid changes in industries as pertaining to modern technological improvement suiting security issues. This can be taken back during revolutionary times when people were trying to get superior weapons to defend themselves and their beloved country from outside aggressions by enemy and this have been going on up to date by manufacturing improvised defensive kits with the aid of modern technology (Riley, 2004). Many countries after World War two involved themselves in manufacturing improvised weapons to enhance their countries’ security nationwide and many programs geared towards defense came up mostly within Federal Government with industries working hand in hand with the government benefitting from huge investment by the Department of Defense. To date defense tends to be leading in technological research more than commercial industries due to the improvised modern technology that uses principles of microelectronics.
The US government under president Clinton laid down foundations that will serve as defense pillar using modern technology for their country and these are;
Contact their international allies to enhance cooperation in the field of technology that their country targets to improve its defense.
Do away with the current DOD that did not take much consideration of commercial things and found in defense.
Give more attention to R&D in defense system
Muller, G. Intermodal Freight Transportation. Eno Transportation Foundation, Inc.,1999.
Riley, J. 2004. Terrorism and Rail Security. Testimony before the Committee on
Commerce, Science and Transportation, U.S. Senate, March 23.
Running head: INTERMODAL TRANSPORT 1
European and US Intermodal Transportation
Intermodal transport deals with the movement of freight and passengers from one mode of transport to another, which normally occurs at terminals specifically designed for this purpose. The system is such that it is logistically linked making use of two or more modes at the same rate. The transportation modes have similar characteristics of handling the transportation process which facilitates easymovement of people or freight between modes within the destination and origin (Rodrigue & Slack, n.d.).
Comparison on European and US Intermodal Transportation
Intermodal transportation in the United States and Europe has been recorded for the past two decades to be the fastest growing rail freight market segment. For instance in 2003, intermodal transport became the top selling freight segment in revenue going to the extent of exceeding coal which had been the main commodity for a very long time .Railways have approximately 35 percent of the total modal share measured in km while on the other hand in Europe, it is approximately at 10 percent (Furtado, 2013).
Approximately 98 percent of the existing gap can be explained by structural differences basing on the methodology employed. 26 percent of the differences is accounted for by competitiveness of non-surface modes which underlie the importance of sea mode in Europe.On the other hand, in the U.S, shipment distances for surface models accounts for approximately half the gap being at 46 percent with the much longer shipment distances in U.S playing a crucial role(Furtado, 2013).
Another 26 percent of the gap is accounted for by the differences in the mix of the commodity. Due to these differences, the modal share gap between Europe and the U.S is minimal. It would take seven times more trains in Europe than in the U.S in order to move the same number of tons with the average net tons per train in Europe being lower than that in the U.S by 86 percent(Furtado, 2013).
Impacts of regulation/deregulation on the growth of intermodal transportation
Regulation is the introduction of rules or laws to govern a given process while deregulation is the removal of the regulations intended to adjust the policies of competition. Regulation in intermodal transport is often called for by the government when markets are perceived to be failing. In both countries, regulation of intermodal transport is aimed at correcting market failures, prevention of environmental damages, and cross-modal competition.Regulation comes as a result of the perceived need to co-ordinate the different types of transportation modes in order to promote efficiency and also to avoid unhealthy competition (Menaz, 2010).
Regulation and deregulation is also aimed at promoting efficiency and safety in the use of infrastructure. It also takes account of international controls and agreements, and also prevents the spread and growth of monopolies thereby controlling them. Deregulation could also be employed in order to achieve efficient allocation of resources like for the 1979 case in the UK where there was a deliberate commitment aimed at reducing the involvement of government.
Charler, J. J., & Ridolfi, G. (1994). Intermodal transportation in Europe: of Modes, corridors and nodes. Maritime Policy and Management, 21(3), 237-250.
Fleming, D. K., & Hayuth, Y. (1994). Spatial characteristics of transportation hubs: centrality and intermediacy. Journal of Transport Geography, 2(1), 3-18.
Furtado, F. M. B. A. (2013). US and European Freight Railways: The Differences That Matter. Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 65-84.
Menaz, B. (2010). Thematic research summary: Regulation Deregulation
Rodrigue, J.P., & Slack, B. (n.d.). Intermodal Transportation and Containerization. Retrieved from http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch3en/conc3en/ch3c6en.html
EUROPEAN AND US INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION 2
Running head: EUROPEAN AND US INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION 1
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