They are mainly used to transport liquid commodities e.g. water and petroleum products.it transport petroleum products e.g.petrol, diesel and kerosene.
This mode is also used to transport coal mixed with water and has the potential in future of transporting other commodities like grains.
ADVANTAGES OF PIPELINE TRANSPORT.
- It allows a continuous flow and supply of the cargo concerned. The flow can go on for 24 hrs.With minimal involvement of labor.
- 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 therereducing 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.
DISADVANTAGES OF PIPELINE TRANSPORT.
- Its initial construction is demanding in terms of financial resources and technical know-how.
- It can result in heavy losses if there is leakage.
- It is inflexible in that once it is laid out it remains in that position.
- It is usually owned a specific company meaning its use is restricted to that company unlike roads which are public.
- It is restricted in the type of commodity it can transport.
- It is only economically justified if there is a constant supply of and demand for the commodity.