Chapter 15

Supporting the economy

Transport and economic activity

It is a truism to say that all production involves transport. Primitive hunter-gathering people’s use of transport was trivial – people walking, stalking, gathering and carrying their catch back to wherever it was to be consumed. Even today, some transport is just as trivial – grazing supermarket shelves or portering documents from one desk to another – but the principle still stands: the economy is composed of trillions of actions, each requiring the positioning of the necessary inputs of labour, energy, capital equipment and component materials, and the carrying away of the product to wherever it is to be used. The distance to be moved may be anything from a matter of a few strides ...

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