Thin as a rail: Profit and revenue have been railroaded by heavy investment in network repairs

The Rail Transport industry has struggled over the past five years. Industry revenue is expected to decline at an annualised 5.3% over the five years through 2018-19, to $470.2 million. New Zealand's total merchandise trade has risen over the period, driving increases in total freight volumes. Rail freight plays an important role in transporting bulk goods across the country, with importers and exporters representing the industry's largest downstream market. These customers are increasingly using rail freight to transport goods to and from New Zealand ports. Despite this, the industry currently lacks the capacity to account for a larger share of the country's freight more.

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

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Despite rising freight volumes, the industry lacks the capacity to achieve significant growth
  • The Kaikoura earthquake in 2016 caused significant damage to KiwiRail’s network
  • The industry’s performance is anticipated to recover due to population growth
  • Industry Report - Industry Key Buyers Chapter

    The Rail Transport industry exhibits high market share concentration, with the three industry operators accounting for all revenue. Commercial rail freight transport is dominated by KiwiRail, which owns New Zealand's rail network. KiwiRail owning the entire rail network means that the barriers to entry are high in the industry, which keeps market share concentration high. In addition, rail passenger operations only occur in the Auckland and Wellington regions. However, there are some scenic passenger rail operators, such as Dunedin Railways, and organisations that transport goods on a non-commercial scale that are not included in the industry. Market share concentration has remained stable over the past five years...purchase to read more.

    Additional Insights for the Rail Transport Industry

    IBISWorld has determined the most important Key Success Factors for the Rail Transport 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 Total merchandise imports and exports and Road freight service price in the Rail Transport industry impact industry performance..

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    What's in this report

    What is the Rail Transport in New Zealand Industry?

    Operators in the Rail Transport industry provide freight and passenger rail transport. This excludes railway terminal operation, tramway transport and private railroads used internally by companies.

    Industry Products
  • Other freight transport
  • Import and export freight transport
  • Rail passenger transport
  • Industry Activities
  • Passenger railway transport services
  • Bulk rail freight transportation
  • Monorail operation
  • 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
  • Total merchandise imports and exports
  • Road freight service price
  • World price of crude oil
  • Population

  • Current Performance
  • Rail freight
  • Passenger rail
  • Industry structure
  • Profit
  • Competition
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • Rail investment
  • Competition
  • Industry profit
  • Industry structure
  • Table: Rail Transport Industry Revenue Outlook

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

  • Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Grain Growing in New Zealand
  • Meat Processing in New Zealand
  • Milk and Cream Processing in New Zealand
  • Coal Mining in New Zealand
  • Consumers in New Zealand

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Electricity Retailing in New Zealand
  • Heavy Industry and Other Non-Building Construction in New Zealand

  • Products & Services
  • Other freight transport
  • Import and export freight transport
  • Rail passenger transport
  • Chart: Rail Transport Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
  • Freight transport
  • Rail passenger transport

  • Major Markets
  • Importers and exporters of goods
  • Primary producers
  • Other freight customers
  • Consumers
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Rail Transport Industry

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

  • Basis of Competition
  • Internal competition
  • External competition

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

  • Industry Globalization
    KiwiRail Holdings Limited, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Auckland Council,
  • Table: KiwiRail Holdings Limited - financial performance
  • Table: Greater Wellington Regional Council - financial performance
  • Table: Auckland Council - financial performance

  • Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Rail 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 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
    Bulk Freight
  • Bulk goods, such as grain or coal, which are transported in custom vehicles.
  • Commuter Rail
  • A railway that extends from a central location (generally city CBDs) to outer suburban areas.
  • Rolling Stock
  • Locomotives and carriages.
  • What Our Customers Say

    Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld’s Rail Transport in New Zealand 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 Transport in New Zealand:
    • 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 Transport in New Zealand 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 Transport in New Zealand, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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