Industry Analysis & Industry Trends
Structural reform and infrastructure investment have fuelled the Rail Freight Transport industry as demand for bulk transport has grown. Industry revenue is expected to increase by an annualised 4.0% over the five years through 2014-15. Increased downstream demand from mining has driven this growth, as exports of coal and iron ore have risen. While revenue growth has been generally solid, the flooding of coalmines in Queensland during 2010-11 and falling demand from some mining customers in 2013-14 affected the industry's performance during those years. In 2014-15, revenue is forecast to grow by 2.8% to $7.6 billion.
Historically, state governments have run the industry, with a primary focus on transporting resources to ports for export... purchase to read more
Industry Report - Industry Investment Chapter
Capital costs for the industry are high, due to the specific plant and equipment used by rail freight operators. Firms spend about $0.71 on capital for every dollar spent on labour. Capital assets, including locomotives and wagons, have very large initial costs, but also long useful lives. Labour costs are more variable than capital costs and can be reduced by investing in automation.
The ratio of capital expenditure to labour costs has increased over the five years through 2014-15. Depreciation has grown due to the increased investment by rail freight operators in new rolling stock to meet demand. Labour costs in train operations have been contained over the past few years, following the introduction of telecommunication and safe-working technology... purchase to read more