A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries, which may further be connected to smaller networks of commercial and noncommercial transportation routes. Among notable trade routes was the Amber Road, which served as a dependable network for long-distance trade. Maritime trade along the Spice Route became prominent during the Middle Ages, when nations resorted to military means for control of this influential route. During the Middle Ages, organizations such as the Hanseatic League, aimed at protecting interests of the merchants, and trade became increasingly prominent.
In modern times, commercial activity shifted from the major trade routes of the Old World to newer routes between modern nation-states. This activity was sometimes carried out without traditional protection of trade and under international free-trade agreements, which allowed commercial goods to cross borders with relaxed restrictions. Innovative transportation of modern times includes pipeline transport and the relatively well-known trade involving rail routes, automobiles, and cargo airlines.
A camel train is a series of camels carrying goods or passengers or both in a group as part of a regular or semi-regular service between two points. Although they rarely travelled faster than the walking speed of a man, camels' ability to withstand harsh conditions made them ideal for communication and trade in the desert areas of northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula for centuries, though they could only travel on routes with sufficient sources of food and water. Camel trains were also used sparingly elsewhere across the globe but during the 20th century they have been largely replaced by motorized vehicles or air traffic.