As the international freight industry grows, Australia risks being left behind owing to the high cost of rail transportation.
The freight forwarding industry is growing at a phenomenal rate with billions of tons of cargo being transported around the globe via air, sea and land.
In a number of countries, rail freight forwarding is anticipated to rise from between 50 and 80% by the end of 2010.
For freight companies in many countries the main challenge is to improve their cargo management process in order to enable the predicated growth to take place effectively.
Currently, the cargo management process is expensive and labour intensive. This is because much of the work (such as verification of shipments) has to be done manually. Such manual systems hinder the adeptness of freight dispatching and sequencing. The reason for this is that businesses cannot track where their cargo is easily.
However, in Australia there is another serious issue which is impeding the progression and development of the freight industry there. The issue is the cost of rail transportation.
This is highlighted by the fact that transporting cargo via rail between Darwin and Adelaide costs the same amount as covering three times as much distance by road.
If the freight industry in Australia is to grow at the same rate as in other countries, the cost of rail transportation will have to come down. If it does not do so, then the Australian freight industry is likely to be seriously disadvantaged against its international competitors who can offer much lower rates.