Cart Transport

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cart Transport


a form of railless transport in which draft animals (horses, oxen, buffalo, camels, asses, mules, deer, dogs, and the like) provide the power. The vehicle may be either a wheeled or sledge type. Pack transport differs from cart transport in that the vehicle and harness are absent and the load is fastened onto a pack frame or directly onto an animal’s back.

Before the appearance of the railroad in the first half of the 18th century, cart transport was the main type of land transport and was used for long-distance passenger and freight traffic. For passenger transport a network of post stations was created and allowed to charge fees for rested horses, crews, and coachmen. In regions with a heavy volume of traffic, the passengers were transferred to intercity mail coaches (omnibuses). Freight was generally carried by trains of horse carts. The broad development of motor-vehicle transport beginning in the second quarter of the 20th century and then the development of aviation caused a gradual phasing out of cart transport, although on the eve of World War II (1939–45) cart transport in many of the countries of Western Europe was close in traffic volume to motor transport and even surpassed it in Italy, Spain. Greece. Turkey, and other countries. In a number of colonial, semicolonial, and dependent nations of the capitalist world, particularly in nations of the Middle and Near East, Central Asia, and northern Africa, pack transport has continued to play an important role.

By the second half of the 20th century the volume of cart transport in all the countries of the world had decreased sharply; at present cart transport is used mostly in rural areas for short-distance passenger and cargo movement.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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