Chapter 11: Australia
Since 2000, attempts have been made by the Commonwealth (Australian or Federal) Government to overcome the past uncoordinated and mode-centric approach to key logistics issues. A policy framework more conducive to the logistics sector is being developed, covering issues of inventory management, supply chains, outsourcing strategies and market drivers. Under this evolving national policy, the Commonwealth Government, in concert with state and local governments, has sought to influence the efficiency of logistics services through critical investments in transport and communications infrastructure, including further progress on the national divided highway system and rolling out a national broadband network. Supported by pilot studies into intermodal transport, meat and livestock, grain and coal supply chains, this policy is designed to: (1) develop world-class logistics services; (2) influence the efficiency of supply chains; and (3) alter the balance of market power exerted and accumulated by individual suppliers, logistics service providers and retailers by securing scarce market assets in infrastructure, information and property (FLCWA, 2009; NTC, 2008a, 2008b, 2008c, 2009a, 2009b, 2009c, 2009d; GTA, 2013). A series of issues are raised by these investments that impinge on the competitive dynamics of the Australian logistics sector. How has power shifted in the supply of logistics services in Australia? How have major retailers in Australia taken control of the demand for logistics services between supplier and the customer’s warehouse, and affected the distribution of market power within supply chains between suppliers of retail products and logistics service providers?