Retail petrol prices and purchase costs for the Road Freight Transport Industry to rise by 2022, with electric trucks becoming a more competitive option
IBISWorld anticipates retail petrol prices to increase over the next five years, due to a forecast rise in domestic fuel consumption, global crude oil prices and the number of motor vehicles on Australian roads. As a result, the purchase costs for operators in the fiercely competitive Road Freight Transport industry are projected to rise, which will put significant pressure on the industry’s margins. However, adding electric trucks to road freight fleets will allow industry operators to counter the projected rise in retail petrol prices.
In November 2017, Tesla unveiled its first electric semi-truck, targeting the worlds carbon intensive logistics industries. Though the semi will not be available until 2019, it has already gained support from some of the world’s largest logistics firms, with DHL pre-ordering 10 of the Tesla semis, and Wal-Mart and J.B. Hunt following suit. DHL Supply Chain is expected to use the trucks for shorter distance urban freight, such as same-day customer deliveries. While orders of the semi have been small, focusing more on testing of capabilities rather than fleet upgrading, the truck suggests a bright future for the Road Freight Transport industry, with industry revenue forecast to increase at an annualised 2.3% over the next five years, outpacing growth over the past five years.
Electric vehicles will allow road freight transport companies to better compete with other forms of freight transport. The transition to electric vehicles is far cheaper for road freight operators than for coastal sea freight operators and domestic airlines, as initial outlay costs for electric trucks are significantly lower than for other vehicles. As a result, smaller road freight transport operators are likely to follow the lead of global road freight giants in the latter part of the next five-year period, and incorporate electric vehicles into their fleets. This is anticipated to contribute to industry revenue growth over the next decade, as consumers demand greener delivery methods in urban areas.
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