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The impediments to the competitiveness of the rail industry in Australia: The case of the non-bulk freight market


Ghaderi, H and Fei, J and Cahoon, S, The impediments to the competitiveness of the rail industry in Australia: The case of the non-bulk freight market, Asia-Pacific journal of marketing and logistics, 27, (1) pp. 127-145. ISSN 1355-5855 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

DOI: doi:10.1108/APJML-11-2013-0136


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify current impediments to the competitiveness of the rail industry in the Australian non-bulk freight market. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic literature review was adapted to identify the impediments and challenge themes from 1,081 studies available on the Australian rail industry. To select the studies relevant to the research question, a tollgate criterion was then deployed. Impediments were identified by a structured data synthesis process and a heuristic algorithm was developed to explore the possible relationships between the impediments and challenges. Findings: Four major themes are apparent, each of which presents the rail industry with challenges in the non-bulk freight market. "Infrastructural inefficiencies and the need for further integration" was ranked as the main rail industry challenge, while "environmental concerns and the associated costs of externalities" was the least. In addition, across the four themes data synthesis identified 43 impediments from purely policy related to technical and operational aspects. Research limitations/implications: The major implication of this review is the identification of impediments that have no linkage to the four industry challenges as revealed by stakeholders in the literature. That means that the rail industry has been dealing with a number of issues that have not been explored and studied in depth either by practitioners or academics. The underlying elements of impediments in this group are perceived as managerial, organisational and leadership factors. The rail industry has failed to manage its organisational ties across the system, both horizontally and vertically. This issue has been intensified as the result of complex interactions between different transport modes and operators associated with the non-bulk freight sector. Originality/value: For the first time in the Australian context, this study provides an en masse and summarised picture of impediments to the competitiveness of the rail industry in the non-bulk freight market by systematically reviewing the reports generated by different stakeholders in the last ten years. The outcomes will assist the rail industry and government to understand impediments impacting on the quality of rail freight services that may lead to collaboration on decision-making and investment strategies

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Logistics management policy, Transport economics
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Transportation, logistics and supply chains
Research Field:Logistics
Objective Division:Defence
Objective Group:Defence
Objective Field:Logistics
UTAS Author:Ghaderi, H (Mr Hadi Ghaderi)
UTAS Author:Fei, J (Associate Professor Jiangang Fei)
UTAS Author:Cahoon, S (Professor Stephen Cahoon)
ID Code:100113
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Maritime and Logistics Management
Deposited On:2015-05-04
Last Modified:2018-04-12

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