Sri Lanka (/sriːˈlɑːŋkə, -ˈlæŋkə/ or i/ʃriː-/;Sinhalese - ශ්රී ලංකාව, TamilIlaṅkai), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon (/sᵻˈlɒnˌseɪ-ˌsiː-/), is an island country in South Asia near south-east India.
Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest. Its documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II.
The word cargo refers in particular to goods or produce being conveyed – generally for commercial gain – by ship, boat, or aircraft, although the term is now often extended to cover all types of freight, including that carried by train, van, truck, or intermodal container. The term cargo is also used in case of goods in the cold-chain, because the perishable inventory is always in transit towards a final end-use, even when it is held in cold storage or other similar climate-controlled facility.
Multi-modal container units, designed as reusable carriers to facilitate unit load handling of the goods contained, are also referred to as cargo, specially by shipping lines and logistics operators. Similarly, aircraft ULD boxes are also documented as cargo, with associated packing list of the items contained within. When empty containers are shipped each unit is documented as a cargo and when goods are stored within, the contents are termed as containerised cargo.
A freight train or goods train is a group of freight cars (US) or goods wagons (UIC) hauled by one or more locomotives on a railway, transporting cargo all or some of the way between the shipper and the intended destination as part of the logistics chain. Trains may haul bulk material, intermodal containers, general freight or specialized freight in purpose-designed cars. Rail freight practices and economics vary by country and region.
When considered in terms of ton-miles or tonne-kilometers hauled per unit of energy consumed, rail transport can be more efficient than other means of transportation. Maximum economies are typically realized with bulk commodities (e.g., coal), especially when hauled over long distances. However, shipment by rail is not as flexible as by highway, which has resulted in much freight being hauled by truck, even over long distances. Moving goods by rail often involves transshipment costs, particularly when the shipper or receiver lack direct rail access. These costs may exceed that of operating the train itself, a factor that practices such as containerization aim to minimize.