Slim pickings: The industry has performed poorly in non-bulk segments due to strong competition

The Rail Freight Transport industry has grown moderately over the past five years, despite some revenue volatility. Black coal is a major product carried by rail freight. Demand from black coal mining fell early in the period, before increasing significantly in 2016-17, causing some revenue volatility. However, an overall increase in demand over the period has supported revenue growth. Industry revenue is anticipated to increase at an annualised 3.0% over the five years through 2017-18, to reach $10.4 billion. The anticipated but slow recovery in fuel prices following 2015-16 is expected to support industry growth, as industry operators typically pass on cost increases to downstream more.

Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth 13-18
Forecast Growth 18-23
Market Share of Companies

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Privatisation and commercialisation initiatives have increased industry competition
  • Industry consolidation has led to decreasing establishment and employee numbers
  • Profit margins are expected to rise in line with increasing fuel prices
  • Industry Report - Industry Analysis Chapter

    The Rail Freight Transport industry primarily moves large quantities of heavy products over long distances. Bulk freight services usually transport homogeneous products such as coal, iron ore or grain. The industry also carries non-bulk freight, such as containerised goods, although this segment faces strong competition from road freight operators. Bulk freight services have grown strongly over the past five years, dominating the industry due to significant economies of scale and the prevalence of direct routes to ports.Industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualised 3.0% over the five years through 2017-18, to $10.4 billion. Declining fuel prices have limited revenue growth over the period, forcing industry operators to charge lower rates for their services. How...purchase to read more.

    Additional Insights for the Rail Freight Transport Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Rail Freight Transport Industry are

  • Automation - reduces costs, particularly those associated with labour
  • Well-developed internal processes
  • Production of premium goods/services
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as Road freight service price and Total mass of exports by sea in the Rail Freight Transport industry impact industry performance..

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    What's in this report

    What is the Rail Freight Transport Industry?

    Industry firms primarily operate railways for freight transportation. The industry does not include the operation of rail freight terminals or private railroads operated in-house for the transportation of goods.

    Industry Products
  • Bulk freight transport
  • Non-bulk freight transport
  • Industry Activities
  • Bulk rail freight transportation
  • Non-bulk rail freight transportation
  • Table of Contents

    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • Road freight service price
  • Total mass of exports by sea
  • World price of crude oil
  • Demand from black coal mining

  • Current Performance
  • Bulk freight
  • Non-bulk freight
  • Falling profitability
  • Internal dynamics
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • Profit and participation
  • Competitive opportunities
  • Regulation
  • Table: Rail Freight Transport Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Rail Freight Transport Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Grain Growing
  • Mining
  • Black Coal Mining
  • Iron Smelting and Steel Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale Trade

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Heavy Industry and Other Non-Building Construction
  • Railway Equipment Manufacturing and Repair
  • Transport Equipment and Large Vehicle Rental

  • Products & Services
  • Bulk freight transport
  • Non-bulk freight transport
  • Chart: Rail Freight Transport Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
  • Bulk freight transport
  • Non-bulk freight transport

  • Major Markets
  • Mining division
  • Freight forwarders and other markets
  • Primary producers
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Rail Freight Transport Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Rail Freight Transport

  • Basis of Competition
  • Internal competition
  • External competition

  • Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Rail Freight Transport Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Aurizon Holdings Limited, Asciano Limited,
  • Table: Aurizon Holdings Limited - financial performance
  • Table: Asciano Limited - financial performance

  • Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Rail Freight Transport Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Table: Industry Data for the Rail Freight Transport Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2009-2023)
  • Industry Gross Product (2009-2023)
  • Establishments (2009-2023)
  • Businesses (2009-2023)
  • Employment (2009-2023)
  • Wages (2009-2023)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
    Above Rail
  • Rolling stock and provision of rail services.
  • Below Rail
  • The fixed infrastructure used by rail. This includes tracks, sleepers and sidings.
  • Bulk Freight
  • Homogeneous bulk goods such as grain or mineral output, which are transported in custom vehicles.
  • Intermodal Transport
  • The transport of shipping containers across different modes of transport on standardised trailers.
  • Non-Bulk Freight
  • General merchandise freight that is carried in standardised containers for transport, such as shipping containers, general freight wagons or on pallets.
  • Rolling Stock
  • Locomotives and carriages.
  • What Our Customers Say

    Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld’s Rail Freight Transport market research report offers insightful industry analysis and research into the market at the national level. IBISWorld’s in-depth industry market research is presented in a logical and consistent format. The industry report contains key industry statistics, market size, industry trends, and growth and profit forecasts for a 5-year outlook period.

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
    • Quickly build competitive intelligence
    This report on Rail Freight Transport:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding of industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Rail Freight Transport market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Rail Freight Transport, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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