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As an island nation, Australia’s logistics and transport industry is an important one and has been since its founding. Shipping freight matters as it is an essential commodity to a healthy Australian economy. Whilst it is easy to put it aside, without due freight movements, the quality of life in Australia will take a hit, as shipping freight lines bring in most of the consumables that Australians have in the home.

Not only is the Australian logistics industry responsible for providing over 1 million employment opportunities across an average of 165,000 companies (as per the figures made available by Australian Logistics Council), but also for the generation of 14.5% of the Gross Domestic Product with an approximation of $150bn annually in  supply chain.  Furthermore, Australian logistics and shipping freight matters as it supports Australian exports and competitive pricing in international markets too.

The way shipping freight works is as a well-oiled machine, with road and rail links working with major ports in all sectors of Australia. The following figure courtesy of the Exports and Infrastructure Taskforce showcases Australia’s nationally significant port, road, and rail networks.

The placement of Australian in the global market is crucial to ensuring that it stays afloat in the ever-changing temperature of international currents. By this, we mean to say that and to quote the Productivity Commissions, “given the size and distance from major overseas markets, an efficient and cost-effective freight transport system is particularly important to the competitiveness of Australia’s manufacturer’s and exporters, and ensuring competitors benefit from the lowest possible prices.

As we said before, shipping freight matters to Australian quality of life, in the sense of economic, environmental and social factors.  Freight lies in the center of all those factors with goals   of national interest relying on it.  Ensuring efficiencies in the transportation and supply chain, will directly impact consumer pricing; thus making it a crucial element in the economies of scale.

With shipping freight categorized between bulk and non-bulk; forecasts are expecting numbers to increase to 631bn tonne kilometres by the year 2050 for non-bulk, and to 909bn tonne kilometers for bulk. The following figures courtesy of IBIS World, showcase the expected domestic shipping freight growth, and the growth in bulk and non-bulk shipping freight.

With the projections in mind, it is important for Australia to revitalize its shipping freight sector by implementing the likes of a multi-modal system to efficiently make use of the infrastructure and assets available.

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