It comprises underground transportation of liquid and gaseous cargo in pipes. The revolution of pipeline has made it very convenient and easy to transport oil, water and milk in some countries at minimum costs.
Advantages of Pipeline Transport
- It is a reliable and convenient means of transport-delays due to congestion or accidents are not experienced.
- It is a relatively cheap means of transport for liquid commodities i.e. it depends only on pressure generated at the main station and booster located along the pipeline
- It helps to reduce the number of tankers on the road thereby reducing tear and wear, congestion and the possibility of accidents on roads(less prone to accidents).
- Environmentally friendly.
- Low operating costs.
- Relatively secure in relation to thefts.
- Low maintenance costs.
- Large volumes of oil can be transported within a given time.
- It offers flexibility because it‟s possible to switch from one fluid to another.
- It is cheaper than air and road transport.
- It is suitable for long distances haulage.
- There is more security of cargo.
- It is less labour intensive.
- It allows a continuous flow and supply of the cargo concerned. The flow can go on for 24 hrs. With minimal involvement of labor.
Disadvantages of pipeline transport
- It is inflexible in that once it is laid out it remains in that position.
- It is usually owned by a specific company meaning its use is restricted to that company unlike roads which are public.
- It is only economically justified if there is a constant supply of and demand for the commodity.
- There is a huge capital outlay required
- It has limited transportation i.e. only liquid and gas
- It is unsuitable for perishable liquids.
- It is subject to sabotage hence risk to cargo.
- It can result in heavy losses if there is leakage.