University Of Tasmania

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The role of rail in the Australian port-based container market: challenges and opportunities

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 20:43 authored by Ghaderi, H, Stephen CahoonStephen Cahoon, Hong-Oanh NguyenHong-Oanh Nguyen
The number of containers handled by Australian seaports has quadrupled over the past two decades. This has posed major difficulties for community and businesses. Knowing the projected demand, the need for disruption-free and reliable land corridors is of emerging importance. This paper first aims to establish a transparent image of the role of rail in the Australian port-based container flows and, second, to empirically identify the key impediments to the competitiveness of rail in this market. To achieve the second objective, a survey was distributed among Australian ports and key container stevedores. This paper identifies that despite the significant growth in the container volumes, rail’s share in the land-based movement of this traffic was small, principally due to lower service levels. The analysis indicated that inadequacy of intermodal infrastructure is a key impediment for the use of rail, followed by poor interoperability and shortage of below-rail infrastructure. This paper concludes with important recommendation for government and industry to make informed infrastructure planning and investment decision.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs








Australian Maritime College



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Port infrastructure and management