Transport and logistics lags in the productivity stakes

'Transport, postal and warehousing' is one of five sectors going backward out of 16 measured

Transport and logistics lags in the productivity stakes
Transport and logistics productivity is on the skids.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data puts the broad transport and logistics (T&L) sector towards the back of the class in terms of productivity in the last financial year.

Indeed the sector, measured as ‘Transport, postal and warehousing’, saw a 3.9 per cent decline in productivity during 2014-15.

The Estimates of Industry Multifactor Productivity, 2014-15 report measures ‘multifactor productivity’ through gross value added, labour input, capital input and labour productivity measures.

Nine of the 16 market sector industries recorded positive MFP growth, on an hours worked basis.

Mining (+5.5 per cent) had the most significant MFP growth, followed by Information, media and telecommunications (+4.5 per cent) and Financial and insurance services (+4.0 per cent).

On the bright side for T&L, labour inputs grew 3.8 per cent and capital inputs were up 2.3 per cent, but labour productivity slid 4.5 per cent, as did gross value added, by 0.9 per cent.

For the economy as a whole, growth was modest.

"On an hours worked basis, market sector multifactor productivity (MFP) grew 0.3% in 2014-15 reflecting a 2.2% increase in gross value added and a 1.9% increase in total labour and capital inputs," the ABS report says.

"Capital services grew 3.3% and hours worked grew 0.8%. On a quality adjusted hours worked basis, MFP fell 0.1% in 2014-15.

"In 2014-15, labour productivity grew 1.3% on an hours worked basis. On a quality adjusted hours worked basis, labour productivity grew 0.7%.

"The weaker growth in quality adjusted labour productivity reflects a positive contribution from changes to labour composition, due to educational attainment and work experience."

Other struggling sectors for MFP were: professional, scientific and technical services (-4.3 per cent); arts and recreation services (-4.3 per cent); construction (-2.3 per cent); administrative and support services (-2.3 per cent); retail trade (-0.6 per cent); manufacturing (-0.5 per cent).  

The full report can be found here.

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