Working Paper 8 of the E-Business and Transport Project: Opportunities for Transport Related Productivity Gains

Smith, Nariida C. & Ferreira, Luis (2001) Working Paper 8 of the E-Business and Transport Project: Opportunities for Transport Related Productivity Gains. CSIRO/QUT.

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This is the eighth Working paper from a project designed to consider the impacts of e-business on the Australian transport system together with any constraints that the transport system might place on e-commerce opportunities. While the previous papers addressed likely impacts, this paper draws on the information gathered and particularly discussions with experts, to consider possible opportunities. As communications technology is advancing rapidly it is quite possible new enabling technologies, such as nano-technologies, will bring very rapid changes beyond the limits of current imagination. However, we have considered options available now, hoping to inform planning. Changes in the transport task resulting in direct productivity gains. These encompass both efficiency improvements with supply of services for lower costs and effectiveness improvements through the supply of more appropriate services for movement of goods and people.
Leadership Constraints: All changes will be dependent on sufficient skill and leadership at management level in businesses, plus financial institutions providing funding and governments setting policies and regulatory frameworks. Intelligent Transport Systems: There are excellent opportunities for productivity gains by linking ITS for traffic information to commercial carriers routing systems to offer better service to commercial vehicles by provision of real-time routing advice or preferential traffic control. European Union estimates that congestion, unreliability and costly inventories as a result of the lack of information about road network capacities and conditions make up 15 percent of total transportation costs [Alt and Klein, 1998].
Rail and Sea: Increases to the speed of inter-city freight by train and improvement in logistics systems could offer competitive rail options. Additionally, high-speed rail would be particularly attractive for movement of the types of commodities expected to increase in demand. High-speed passenger rail could open destinations in regional areas to international tourists and the revenues would add to the viability of such inter-city links. Improved inter-modal exchange and roll-on roll-off containerised freight could allow sellers and buyers to be indifferent to forwarding mode, leaving the forwarder to use the best available option for each case and time, choosing from a set of modal options, including sea,. Additionally there are: Productivity increases dependent on sufficient transport supply. These are options where transport supply will be an early determinant of success, such as ‘Supermarket to Asia’. Suitable prices for the local and international legs of the export trip, suitable storage and hygiene to maintain foodstuff quality and short transit times are required to allow local suppliers to complete globally in the supply of foodstuffs. International Travel: Increases in international travel for business or leisure could be constrained unless encouragement of entry to Australia via international airports other than Sydney is encouraged. Productivity increases resulting in increased transport demand: Tourism will benefit from lower international airfares and particularly from increased international awareness via e-commerce. However, the degree of benefit to regional tourism will depend on the ability of investors and operators in the industry to provide appropriate infrastructure and services. In particular, higher standards of accommodation and activities/adventure operations will be needed. Currently, most local regional tourism infrastructure is low cost accommodation, where Australian tourists enjoy passive recreation. Success in catering to new markets in individual regions will determine the impacts on transport demand. Finally, the e-business revolution will result in ‘footloose’ international companies able to locate anywhere in the world. Australia has opportunities to attract numbers of such companies through superior natural and social environments, attractive cities and an educated multicultural workforce sensitive to worldwide needs. Our transport demand would increase but such a successful society would be well able to manage demand.

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ID Code: 2780
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional Information:

For further information or clarification please contact:
Dr Nariida Smith
Principal Research Scientist
CSIRO Building, Construction and Engineering
PO Box 310 North Ryde NSW 1670
Phone 02 9490 5466
Fax 02 9490 5777

This research was undertaken in collaboration with the Built Environment Research Unit of the Queensland Department of Public Works.

Keywords: e, business, e, commerce, transport, impact, productivity, freight, demand, supply, Australia
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Transport Economics (140217)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 05 Dec 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:32

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