Profile of the Australian Transport and Logistics Industry

Source: TLI10 Transport and Logistics Training Package (Version 1.1), Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council,
A snapshot

Transport and Logistics is often referred to as the ‘backbone’ of the Australian economy. It directly affects every part of the economy and everyone’s standard of living – from what we buy, to the price we pay for goods, to how we get from place to place. The transport and logistics network comprises ports, roads, railways, freight terminals, airports, and distribution and materials handling centers. Because of its integration within the economy and the embedded nature of its functions, the relative ‘health’ of the Transport and Logistics Industry is often considered a barometer for the overall strength of the economy. The industry is characterised by diversity of mode, size, freight type, ownership, location, employees’ skills and infrastructure requirements. Transport and logistics involves almost every type of occupation, from crews of vehicles, trains, vessels and aircraft to staff involved in engineering, infrastructure, tourism, hospitality, security, retailing, warehousing, administration and IT.

Industry overview
As global markets continue to recover, Australia’s future success depends on achieving higher levels of productivity growth in all areas of the economy. The Transport and Logistics Industry is a significant contributor to the nation’s prosperity through the efforts of its 1.2 million-strong workforce and through the vital role it plays in underpinning the competitiveness of all other industries. The Australia to 2050 report highlights the impact of infrastructure investment on lifting economic growth. This was underscored by announcements of increased Commonwealth Government investment, totaling $36 billion, in roads, railways and ports. The success of these projects will depend on access to highly skilled people across a broad range of transport and logistics capabilities in the construction and operational phases. Infrastructure has emerged as a key national priority, with renewed focus on long-term planning and the identification of inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Regulatory reform has been aimed at ensuring the coordination of all levels of government to build an efficient, safe, sustainable, accessible and competitive transport system. Initiatives include the creation of single national regulators for heavy vehicles, rail safety and maritime safety. Australia’s freight task in 2020 will be double that of 2006. By 2050, it will be tripled. Capacity constraints and congestion are already evident, which means that delivering transport and logistics services will become increasingly difficult for the 165,000+ enterprises in the industry. The flow-on effect of this to other industries is significant; an efficient Transport and Logistics Industry allows other industries to maintain competitiveness through efficient supply chain and transport systems. The industry continues to examine its impact on the environment including ways that this can be reduced through the adoption of more sustainable practices. Conservative estimates put employment growth in transport and logistics at an average 1.3 per cent a year until 2013–14. The all-industries rate for the same period is one per cent. These figures were calculated before the infrastructure projects were announced, making it likely that employment demands in transport and logistics will be higher than the projection. The skills base and labor pool in Australia’s Transport and Logistics Industry will need to increase in size and capability if it is to respond to the challenges arising from the productivity agenda and population growth.
Logistics Management, Road Transport and Warehousing
Improvement to Australia’s economic productivity will depend on a well integrated transport system that ensures safe and efficient mobility of people and goods. The economic, social and environmental consequences of congested and capacity-constrained supply chains are well documented. The expected productivity growth of the Commonwealth Government’s $36 billion investment in roads, railways and ports will only be realised if the transport and logistics workforce is able to respond to the skill demands of this investment.
Occupations in Skill Demand

  • Truck Driver (General Freight, Delivery, Multi-Combination, Dangerous Goods Tanker)
  • Transport/Logistics Manager
  • Bus Driver
  • Forklift Operator
  • Warehouse Administrator
  • Supply and Distribution Manager
  • Driving Instructor