Modest growth forecast for freight transport

Report sees rise due to positive outlook for economy, though warns of industrial relations instability

September 15, 2011

Australian road freight is forecast to grow 1.8 percent this financial year, according to a Business Monitor International report.

The UK publisher’s Australia Freight Transport Report Q4 2011 predicts growth in all freight sectors, with rail likely to be up 1.9 percent and airfreight to ease to 3.3 percent.

"The strong basis for growth in the freight sector comes partly from our positive outlook for the Australian economy," the report’s authors say.

"We highlight freight modes exposed to the transport of containers as the forecast areas, which have risks to the upside as it is these modes of transport that will benefit from the increase in container volumes driven by the consumer - a section of the economy that is strengthening.

"Australia’s real GDP is forecast to increase by 2.4 percent in 2011, while total trade is set to increase by 2.68 percent in 2011 in real growth terms, following double-digit growth in 2010."

On the downside, they noted industrial action at ports saying they could no count against this occurring again, while flooding and cyclones highlighted the huge level of destruction natural disasters can cause the country.

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