Challenges of Freight in Australia vs. USA/Europe

For freight to prosper in the future within Australia and the rest of the world there are some key challenges to be taken into consideration;

Economic Challenges

  • Accommodate increased economic production
  • Enhance the international competitiveness of Australian business and industry
  • Minimise the community cost of increased road crashes and urban traffic congestion

Environmental challenges

Protect the urban amenity eg. Dredging to deepen harbours and channels

  • Minimise air pollution
  • Reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector
  • Social challenges
  • Minimise the risk of ‘flow on’ economic costs to vulnerable sections of the community
  • Ensure the viability of regional and remote communities

Added Challenges that Australia has:

  • Track gauge not being uniform
    Very little thought was given in the early years of the development of the colony-based rail networks of Australia. The most obvious issue to arise was determining a track gauge. Despite advice from London to adopt a uniform gauge when Australia was being established, should the lines of the various colonies ever meet, gauges were adopted in different colonies, and indeed within colonies, without reference to those of other colonies. This has caused problems ever since.
  • Inclement weather of Australia
    If it’s not cyclones in Queensland slowing down freight transport there are times of drought where there is less need for freight movement.

Added Challenges that USA has:

  • Bottlenecks due to heighten security following terrorist attacks of September 11
    Between 1990 and 2000, U.S. international trade more than doubled (in inflation-adjusted terms), rising from about $900 billion to $2.2 trillion. Nearly one-third of U.S. merchandise trade in 2000 was with Canada and Mexico. Many gateways already suffer from congestion which has intensified by heightened security following the attacks of September 11.
  • Air Cargo capacity
    Is constrained by the limited availability of new slots at major commercial airports and opposition to airport noise and longer operating hours. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that shippers are increasingly relying on air cargo services to meet just-in-time deliveries and lower inventories eg. FED Ex.

Added challenges that Europe has:

  • Improving flow of freight transport
    Europe has a few natural barriers that slows down freight such as The Alps and the Channel Canal. To mitigate this, the European Union are building new high speed rail lines which are suitable for combined transport.


Every continent has issues with freight management and the challenge is to mitigate these issues as much as possible. Therefore no continent in the World has the monopoly over each other.