The right track: Rising demand and long-term contracts have supported bulk freight providers

The Rail Freight Transport industry has grown moderately over the past five years, despite exhibiting 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, resulting in some revenue volatility. However, demand from this market increased overall over the period, supporting revenue growth. Industry revenue is expected to increase at an annualised 1.1% over the five years through 2018-19, to reach $7.5 billion. Fuel prices rose from 2016-17 through 2017-18. This increase supported industry growth, as operators typically pass on cost increases to downstream more.

Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth 14-19
Forecast Growth 19-24

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Government investment in rail infrastructure has benefited the industry over the past five years
  • Declines in fuel prices have increased competition for industry operators in the non-bulk segment
  • Profit margins are expected to rise as agricultural export volumes increase
  • Industry Report - Industry Key Buyers Chapter

    The Rail Freight Transport industry displays moderate market share concentration, with the industry's top four operators accounting for an estimated 65% of industry revenue in the current year. Market share concentration has declined over the past five years as the industry's two largest operators have underperformed the overall industry over the period.High barriers to entry ensure that few new entrants can effectively compete with the major players. Additionally, major players already operate the most profitable lines. Some mining firms are installing and privately operating new lines, which are outside the industry's scope. Industry firms tend to have considerable economies of scale, supporting moderate market share concentration...purchase to read more.

    Additional Insights for the Rail Freight Transport Industry

    IBISWorld has determined the most important Key Success Factors for the Rail Freight Transport are:

  • Automation - reduces costs, particularly those associated with labour
  • Well-developed internal processes
  • Having a good reputation
  • 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 rail freight terminal operations or private railroads operated in-house for transporting goods.

    Industry Products
  • Other bulk freight transport
  • Non-bulk freight transport
  • Coal and mineral 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
  • Coal and mineral freight transport
  • Non-bulk freight transport
  • Other bulk freight transport
  • Chart: Rail Freight Transport Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
  • Coal and mineral freight transport
  • Other 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
    Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Rail Freight Transport Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Pacific National Holdings Pty Ltd, Aurizon Holdings Limited,
  • Table: Pacific National Holdings Pty Ltd - financial performance
  • Table: Aurizon Holdings 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 (2010-2024)
  • Industry Gross Product (2010-2024)
  • Establishments (2010-2024)
  • Businesses (2010-2024)
  • Employment (2010-2024)
  • Wages (2010-2024)

  • 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 provides the latest industry statistics and industry trends, allowing you to identify the products and customers driving revenue growth and profitability. The industry report identifies the leading companies and offers strategic industry analysis of the key factors influencing the market.

    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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