The Graph Below Shows the Quantities of Goods Transported in the UK Between 1974 and 2002

The graph below shows the quantities of goods transported in the UK between 1974 and 2002 by four different modes of transport.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 8 Test 4 Writing Task 1.

Goods transported in UK (1974-2002)

the graph below shows the quantities of goods transported in the uk

Sample Essay

The line graph displays how many goods were shipped in the UK between 1974 and 2002 by four different means of transport.

Overall, road remained the primary way of transport during the 28-year period. In addition, shipments increased for all modes except rail, which was essentially unchanged.

The most commonly used way of transport was road, with road freight shipments increasing significantly from about 70 million tonnes in 1974 to just below 100 million tonnes in 2002. In comparison, only about 5 million tonnes of goods were shipped by pipeline in 1974. The number then climbed considerably to approximately 22 million tonnes in around 1995 before staying at this level until 2002.

The volume of cargo transported by water showed a climb from about 40 to 65 million tonnes between 1974 and 2002, with a small dip in 1998.  Rail freight shipments also started at roughly 40 million tonnes. After falling to about 30 million tonnes in around 1995, they returned to their original level by the end of the period.

171 Words

How To Write the Overview

Note that in my overview paragraph, not only did I describe the overall trends (the green), I also compared which way of transport had the biggest figures (the red).

Overall, road remained the primary way of transport during the 28-year period. In addition, shipments increased for all the modes except rail, which was essentially unchanged.

How To Vary Your Language

Modes of Transport
  • Means of transport
  • Ways of transport
  • Methods of transport
Goods Transported
  • Freight transported

Example     About 40 million tonnes of freight were transported by rail.

  • Cargo shipped

Example     The volume of cargo shipped by water showed an overall increase.

  • Road freight shipments

Example     Rail freight shipments were essentially unchanged.

7 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Hi Lillie! Me again. Do you think it’s OK if I use ‘road-freight shipment’ instead of ‘road-freight shipment’?

      1. OMG, yes! My question is if I can use ‘road-freight shipment’ instead of ‘road freight shipment’. I feel it more natural to add a hyphen, but I’m not sure.

      2. Try to interpret it as “shipments of freight by road.” That is, the parts that are most strongly connected are “freight” and “shipments,” and “road” modifies that combination. “Freight shipments” could also be sent by rail or some other means. But there shouldn’t be hyphens. Hope this helps.

  2. Would love to get some feedback on my variant of the answer.

    The line graph illustrates the number of goods transported in the United Kingdom using four different modes of transport from the year 1972 to 2000.
    Overall, road and water transport have been the most popular as majority of the goods were being transported through them throughout the time period. On the other hand ,rail and pipeline were least preferred as they carried a relatively lower load throughout.
    Roads have been transporting the highest volume of carriage in comparison to all the other modes since the inception of the time frame as they carried approximately 78 million tonnes of goods in 1972 and also have seen a progressive growth in this volume over time as they peaked at just below 100 million tonnes by the year 2000.Similarly,water-ways carried around 40 million tonnes in 1972 and saw an overall upward trend till 2000 where they transported around 61 million tonnes of freight.
    Railways started with 40 million tonnes in 1972 and have had a stable volume of goods transported with a slight downward trend till 1992 but then again picking up to 40 million tonnes by the year 2000.
    Pipelines were the least popular mode of transport as they had less than 5 million tonnes of goods transported in 1972 after which they experienced slow growth till the year 1992 to about 20 million years, this trend has been stable since

  3. I have noticed that you separated the different lines into one group, rather than writing in a timeline, which I had never thought of it before!

    this is my writing, and it is still really too many words, I don’t think I have enough time to finish such an essay in the examination.

    The line chart compares the numbers of goods transported by four different means of transportation in UK from 1974 to 2002.

    Overall, It is clear that transporting cargos by means of the road was by far the most popular means in UK throughout the period shown. Furthermore, while the quantities of goods transported by road, water, and pipeline increased steadily, the figure for railway transportation was essentially unchanged.

    In 1974, the quantities of goods transported through road and pipeline were around 70 million tonnes and 5 million tonnes respectively, compared to roughly 40 million tonnes for water and rail transportation. Over the following 4 years, while the numbers of goods transporting by road and pipeline grew gradually, reaching approximately 75 million tonnes and 9 million tonnes respectively, the figures for water and rail transportation only saw a negligible change in the number of goods, still at around 40million tonnes.
    from 1978 to 1991, the trends for road and pipeline transportation showed a stable increase in the number of goods, to about 80 million and 18 million tonnes. interestingly, there was a jump of near 20 million in the volume of goods transported by ships within only 4 years from 1978 to 1982, to around 60 million tonnes, which followed by a leveling up from 1982 to 1992. but the figure for the railway had dropped to less than 35 million tonnes in early 1991. By 2002, goods transported by cars, ships, and trains saw a similar upward trend, to near 100 million tonnes,65 million tonnes and 40 million tonnes respectively. By contrast, the figure for pipeline still at a low level, to around 20 million tonnes at the beginning of 2002.

    1. I think the biggest reason you wrote so many words is that you mixed the four categories together instead of describing them only one at a time. When you mix them together, you have to say “the number of goods transported by X” again and again. Also, you actually lose marks by giving such a detailed description because the task only asks you to report the MAIN features. Compare how you described water shipments with how I described them.

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