Australia Freight Transport Report

Published 23 November 2015

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Australia Freight Transport Report
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BMI View: Over the course of 2016 we expect to see road freight once more outperform the other two modes in Australia with the former coming in at 3.10% y-o-y growth, and rail freight and air freight are forecast to grow by 2.77% and 0.70% respectively. The slight y-o-y gains across all of the modes compared to 2015 are in line with our view that the overall trade picture is set to improve over the next 12 months with real trade growth pencilled in to increase by 3.00% in 2016. Through to the end of our forecast period in 2019, we expect growth to be steady, if uninspiring. We expect the Australian dollar to continue to face fundamental downside pressure, and this will allow the decline in imports needed to improve the country's external indebtedness over the coming years.

The Australian economy continued to slow in Q1 2015, and we maintain our 2015 real GDP growth estimate of 2.3% (versus 2.7% in 2014). The country's worsening terms of trade and unwinding investment boom continue to act as major headwinds to growth going into 2016, thus tempering the rate of growth of the freight modes in Australia over the short term. That said, the lack of an explicit easing bias by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and potential risks to the property market caused by low interest rates suggest to us that further cuts by the central bank are unlikely, and we expect the RBA to keep its cash rate steady at 2.00% over the course of 2015 and 2016.

Meanwhile, the ongoing terms of trade shock that Australia is facing is rendering the rebalancing of trade in volume terms ineffective in monetary terms. While shipments for the country's largest exports, iron ore and coal, are at new all-time highs in volume terms, revenues are stagnating, and this is unlikely to be offset by a boost in LNG export earnings over the coming years.

Road freight is once more set to remain the most dominant freight mode in Australia for the foreseeable future, accounting for almost 70% of total freight...

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BMI Industry View
Freight Transport
Operational Risk
Industry Forecast
Trade Forecast
Table: Trade Overview (Australia 2012-2019)
Table: Key Trade Indicators (Australia 2012-2019)
Table: Main Import Partners (2006-2013)
Table: Main Export Partners (2006-2013)
Road Freight Forecast
Table: Road Freight (Australia 2012-2019)
Rail Freight Forecast
Table: Rail Freight (Australia 2012-2019)
Air Freight Forecast
Table: Air Freight (Australia 2012-2019)
Market Overview
Company Profile
Aurizon (formerly QR National)
Pacific National
Qantas Freight
Toll Group
Political Outlook
Domestic Politics
Long-Term Political Outlook
Table: Political Overview
Oil Price Outlook
Global - Crude Oil, Refined Fuels And Natural Gas Prices, 10-Year Forecasts
Table: Energy Price Forecasts (Global 2013-2018)
Table: Energy Price Forecasts (Global 2019-2024)
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Economic Analysis
Table: Economic Activity (Australia 2010-2019)
Demographic Forecast
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Australia 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Australia 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Australia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Australia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Australia 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

The Australia Freight Transport Report has been researched at source, and features latest-available data covering commercial transport and logistics by road, rail, air and water; industry forecasts, company rankings covering leading national and multinational operators; and analysis of latest industry trends, opportunities, projects and regulatory changes.

Business Monitor International (BMI)'s Australia Freight Transport Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Australian freight transport and logistics industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent freight transport industry forecasts on Australia to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the strategic freight transport market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Australian freight transport sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Australia.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs, and latest activity).


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering freight transport and logistics, regulatory changes, major investments and projects and significant national and multinational company developments.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the freight transport sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry Forecasts

Historic data series (2008-2012) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry and economic indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast including:

  • Transport Sector: Total freight carried by road, rail, inland waterways, maritime, air and pipeline (mn tonnes-km/mn tonnes).
  • Trade: Exports and imports (USDmn) by category of goods (manufactured goods, food, chemicals etc.); top five import and export trade partners (USDmn); imports/exports to each global region (USDmn)
  • Port Data: Throughput (‘000 tonnes) for all major ports in the state.
  • Oil Products Prices: Price forecasts for gasoline and aviation fuel (USD/bbl) at all major global energy trading hubs.
  • Economic Indicators: Nominal GDP (USDbn); real GDP growth (%); GDP per capita (USD); industrial production (%); unemployment (%)

Market Overview

Details of the freight infrastructure in each state by segment (road, rail, air, water and pipelines). Full analysis of the competitive landscape within each segment.

Industry Trends and Developments

Analysis of the latest projects across the freight transport sector (road, rail, air, sea and logistics) including a market overview which provides an outline of the key elements driving development.

Political Outlook

The Freight Transport market reports contain a chapter detailing the political outlook of a given region, examining the domestic politics, long-term outlook and foreign policy, and assessing the impact this could have on freight and transport businesses.

Company Profiles*

Examines the short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate company SWOT analyses.

The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.


The Freight Transport reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports

*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.