Road transport leads T&L stats charge over 10 years

Decade to 2014-15 sees all measures on the rise, though parcels struggles

Road transport leads T&L stats charge over 10 years
ABS figures show a number of positives for trucking.


Road freight may have many challenges but growth on various Australian Bureau of Statistics measures, including costs, has been steady over the 10 years to 2014-15.

However, the parcels business showed none of these positives and is marked by quite stagnant figures, despite the well-documented growth in e-commerce’s popularity.

The results are contained in the ‘Industry analysis’ section of the bureau’s Australian Industry, 2014-15 release.

The period saw quite strong growth in road transport operating profit before tax, from $3.803 billion to $6.008 billion.

In that time, total income rose from $41.736 billion to $55.540 billion but total expenses also grew, from $37.941 billion to $49.509 billion.

Gross earnings measured as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose from $6.41 billion to $8.588 billion.

Road transport employee numbers rose from about 267,000 to 276,000, while wages and salaries rose from $8.626 billion to 13.104 billion.

By contrast, the postal and courier pick-up and delivery services business segment had trouble gaining much traction in the decade measured.

Total income began at $9.369 billion, rose to $11.076 but fell to end the period at $10.665 billion

Operating profit before tax figures were incomplete but for EBITDA it was all downhill – $1.513 billion to $1.120 billion.

Employee numbers that started in 2006-07 at 72,000 people, rose to 81,000 two years later before falling to 70,000.

It was a similar story with salaries, with the total starting as $2,495 billion, peaking at $3.178 billion before dropping again to $2.917 billion.

The transport support services segment experienced a different path on some measures, with operating profit before tax starting at $5.579 billion, plunging as low as $3.289 billion before rising again to $5.270 billion.

However, total income rose steadily from $28.493 billion to $41.338 billion, as did EBITDA, from $7.563 billion to $9.923 billion

Industry value added also rose quite steadily from $13.390 billion to $18.748 billion.

Warehousing and storage services had a reasonable decade that began to ease off or zig-zag towards the end on some measures.

Total income rose from $6.100 billion and, after hitting a peak of $6.885 billion in 2010-11, eased to $6.329 billion.

EBITDA and operating profit figures were incomplete but the trend was similar.

Expenses, however, fell. They began the decade at $5.876 billion, rose to $6.376 billion the next year, then described a shallow if lumpy glide down to $5.536 billion.

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