The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century saw a
number of inventions fundamentally change transport. With telegraphy,
communication became instant and independent of transport. The invention
of the steam engine, closely followed by its application in rail
transport, made land transport independent of human or animal muscles.
Both speed and capacity increased rapidly, allowing specialization
through manufacturing being located independent of natural resources.
The 19th century also saw the development of the steam ship, that sped
up global transport. With the development of the combustion engine and
the automobile at the turn into the 20th century, road transport became
more viable, allowing the introduction of mechanical private transport.
The first highways were constructed during the 19th century with
macadam. Later, tarmac and concrete became the dominant paving material.
In 1903, the first controllable airplane was invented, and after World
War I, it became a fast way to transport people and express goods over
After World War II, the automobile and airlines took
higher shares of transport, reducing rail and water to freight and
short-haul passenger. Spaceflight was launched in the 1950s, with rapid
growth until the 1970s, when interest dwindled. In the 1950s, the
introduction of containerization gave massive efficiency gains in
freight transport, permitting globalization.International air travel
became much more accessible in the 1960s, with the commercialization of
the jet engine. Along with the growth in automobiles and motorways, this
introduced a decline for rail and water transport. After the
introduction of the Shinkansen in 1964, high-speed rail in Asia and
Europe started taking passengers on long-haul routes from airlines.