Rail Freight Transport in Australia Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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Increasing deregulation and investment in infrastructure has altered the industry’s operating environment. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Rail Freight Transport industry in Australia.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Privatisation and commercialisation initiatives have created an increasingly competitive industry.

Structural reform and investment prepared the way for industry prosperity as demand for bulk transport grew. Revenue for the Rail Freight Transport industry is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 4.6% over the five years through 2013-14. This growth has come from downstream demand from the Mining division as Australia has exported increasing volumes of coal, iron ore and other resources. Over the period, industry performance slowed due to a drop-off in intermodal traffic in 2008-09 and floods affecting key markets in 2010-11. In 2013-14, revenue is forecast to grow by 1.7% to $7.3 billion.

Historically, rail has been run by the states, with a primary focus on getting exports to overseas markets, rather than domestic markets. IBISWorld industry analyst Caroline Finch states, “the industry's current operating environment is the result of successive deregulation, infrastructure spending and transport policy decisions.” Privatisation and commercialisation initiatives over the past 10 years have created an increasingly nationalised and competitive industry. Deregulation has separated the bodies responsible for building and maintaining rail infrastructure (below rail) from those that operate rail services (above rail), decreasing the capital required for entry. The industry is active in two different freight markets. It carries heavy commodities long distances, leveraging economies of scale to dominate this market. The industry also transports containerised or general cargo. Over the past five years, this market has lost ground to the Road Freight Transport industry. Investment to date has allowed the industry to expand bulk freight capacity where the industry is most competitive. According to Finch, “the challenge for the industry lies in increasing competitiveness in non-bulk markets currently dominated by road freight.” As the industry continues to focus on bulk markets, a rise in the mass of exports transported by sea is anticipated to underpin growth over the next five years.

The Rail Freight Transport industry has high level of market share concentration. Demand has increased significantly for bulk haulage of minerals, a market in which the two largest players are particularly active. By contrast, activity in intermodal freight markets has been subdued. Industry major players, Aurizon Holdings and Asciano, due to the focus of their activities, have outperformed the industry and increased their revenue share. Industry market share concentration is set to increase in the next five years as Aurizon Holdings Limited expands their operations to compete nationally. Considerable economies of scale exist in the industry, supporting concentration. Economies of scale are likely to strengthen further as infrastructure upgrades come on line allowing for more productive use of rail assets. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Rail Freight Transport report in Australia industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Companies in this industry are primarily engaged in operating railways for the transportation of freight. The industry does not include private railroads operated in-house for the transportation of goods.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
International Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Basis of Competition
Barriers to Entry
Industry Globalisation
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Technology & Systems
Revenue Volatility
Regulation & Policy
Industry Assistance
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every Australian industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Melbourne, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com.au or call (03) 9655 3886.

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Gavin Smith
IBISWorld
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