I don't know about "better" (a zep can drop you at your local bus station in a fifth the time it takes a very fast ship to get between major ports, across the Atlantic) and "safer" I would have to see demonstrated. The German Zepps had never lost a passenger until the Hindenburg - that was new technology (less than a generation of experience) being used in regular passenger transport across a major ocean long before modern weather reporting, etc, in perfect safety. The major virtue would be the lack of need for roads or tracks or even large airports (the Empire State Building was designed as a Zeppelin port). In a place already heavily invested in roads and such infrastructure, the competitive advantages of balloons are less. In other places, however - -. Compared with what, is the question. A thousand miles of freeway with ten bridges and a fleeto of semis ?