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

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The Mining division and the recovery in merchandise trade are driving increases in demand for water freight transport. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Water Freight Transport industry in Australia.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

High levels of international trade left the industry highly exposed to the global downturn.

Over the past five years, the Water Freight Transport industry has been transporting increasing volumes of freight between Australian and foreign ports, but at freight rates that have been low by historical standards. Despite strong demand growth from major markets, industry revenue grew at the low compound annual rate of 1.1% over the five years through 2013-14 to reach $2.7 billion. The industry is highly globalised. IBISWorld industry analyst Caroline Finch states “international trade, and the strong presence of international shipping companies on Australian routes, left the industry exposed to the difficulties of the global industry in the past five years. These stem from the global financial crisis, which marked the end of a decade long boom in demand for global shipping.” Globally, operators had placed large orders for new vessels. When demand for transport dropped during the global recession, ship owners were unable to decommission vessels quickly. In fact, new capacity continued to come online through to the 2012 calendar year, as orders that had been placed up until 2008 were delivered. With systematic oversupply and low volume demand, prices for water transport services sunk. In the Australian industry, shipping rates followed global trends downwards. Despite ongoing volatility, global shipping rates appear to have settled at a new, lower level in the past three years. From here, they are likely to exhibit mild growth, as the number of new ship launches globally is expected to slow. Gradually, global supply is expected to adjust to better match demand.

The Water Freight Transport industry is expected to perform more strongly in the next five years. In 2013-14, increasing volume demand is forecast to outweigh lower price levels, with the industry set to expand by 4.6%. This reflects a trend of increasing demand for industry services, which is forecast to carry the industry to new heights in the next five years. According to Finch, “the Mining division is forecast to grow in importance to the industry, with the mass of exports transported by sea expected to rise.” Merchandise trade imports and exports are also forecast to expand.

The industry has is highly concentrated. Market share concentration is high because of the large capital investments made in ships by the major players. The larger the size of the ship, the more they benefit from economies of scale. Market share concentration has been diluted over the five years through 2013-14. The growth in demand for bulk shipping has supported the entry of more specialised international bulk shipping companies into Australia. The industry’s major players include ANL Container Line, Hapag-Lloyd (Australia), ASP Pacific Holdings and Maersk Line. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Water Freight Transport report in Australia industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry operates vessels that transport freight by water. Primary activities include coastal sea freight transport services between domestic ports, freight ferry services, harbour freight transport services and international sea freight transport services between domestic and international ports. Further activities include river freight transport services, ship freight management services (the operation of ships on behalf of owners) and inland water freight transport services.

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
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