Losing steam: Reduction in the transportation of bulk commodities has caused revenue to fall

The United Kingdom boasts the world's oldest railway system and has one of 20 largest rail networks in the world. Industry operators move goods on main-line rail networks and dedicated short-line railways. After privatisation in the 1990s, freight rail transport remains dominated by a small number of major providers due to the industry's high barriers to entry and the economies of scale that exist for current operators. In 2017-18, the four largest players in the industry are expected to generate 85.6% of industry revenue.The industry's performance is influenced by the total amount of freight carried on railways, the level of business confidence, and competition from road freight...read more.

Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth 13-18
Forecast Growth 18-23

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Though the industry is more competitive, falling activity has caused revenue to decline
  • Limited increases in variable access charges have helped to increase intermodal traffic
  • The rail network’s share of total freight could decline if the government allows super lorries on UK roads
  • Industry Report - Industry Analysis Chapter

    The Freight Rail Transport industry conveys containerised consumer goods and bulk commodities such as construction materials, coal, metals and oil. The performance of the industry is mainly driven by the amount of freight carried on the British rail network, business confidence levels, competition from other types of freight and demand from key markets such as the construction sector and electricity production. The amount of freight carried is also influenced by the UK’s level of international trade. This is determined by the strength of the UK economy and the economies of its major trading partners. In 2017-18, the industry is expected to generate revenue of £867.3 million, representing a 1.5% decline on the previous year. IBI...purchase to read more.

    Additional Insights for the Freight Rail Transport Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Freight Rail Transport Industry are

  • Effective cost controls
  • Having an extensive distribution/collection network
  • Access to secure revenues
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as Business confidence index and Demand from freight road transport in the Freight Rail Transport industry impact industry performance..

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    What's in this report

    What is the Freight Rail Transport Industry?

    Operators in this industry transport goods via rail using both main-line and short-line rail networks. The industry does not include the related warehousing, storage, cargo handling or freight terminal activities. Neither does it encompass the operation of railway infrastructure or switching and shunting activities.

    Industry Products
  • Transporting coal
  • Transporting metals
  • Transporting construction materials
  • International freight transport
  • Domestic intermodal transport
  • Transporting other goods
  • Transporting oil and petroleum
  • Industry Activities
  • Transporting freight via main-line railways.
  • Transporting freight via short-line freight railways
  • Table of Contents

    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • Business confidence index
  • Demand from freight road transport
  • Industrial production index
  • World price of crude oil
  • Demand from electricity production

  • Current Performance
  • Tracking changes
  • On the right track
  • Safety net
  • Going green
  • Government grants
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • The road to success
  • Better connected
  • Charges along the right lines
  • Future regulation
  • Table: Freight Rail Transport Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Freight Rail Transport Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Hard Coal Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade
  • Transportation and Storage

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Railway Equipment Manufacturing

  • Products & Services
  • Domestic intermodal transport
  • Transporting construction materials
  • Transporting other goods
  • Transporting metals
  • Transporting coal
  • Transporting oil and petroleum
  • International freight transport
  • Chart: Freight Rail Transport Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
    Major Markets
  • Retailers and wholesalers
  • Construction industries
  • Manufacturers
  • Mining and energy companies
  • Other
  • Oil and petroleum industries
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Freight Rail Transport Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
    ProfitWagesPurchasesMaintenanceRail equipment leasingRent and utilitiesDepreciation and other costs
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Freight Rail Transport

  • Basis of Competition
    Internal competitionExternal competition
    Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Freight Rail Transport Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    DB Cargo (UK) Ltd, Freightliner Group Limited, GB Railfreight Ltd, Direct Rail Services Limited,
  • Table: DB Cargo (UK) Ltd - financial performance
  • Table: Freightliner Group Limited - financial performance
  • Table: GB Railfreight Ltd - financial performance
  • Table: Direct Rail Services Limited - financial performance

  • Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Freight Rail Transport Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Table: Industry Data for the Freight Rail Transport Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2009-2023)
  • Industry Gross Product (2009-2023)
  • Establishments (2009-2023)
  • Businesses (2009-2023)
  • Employment (2009-2023)
  • Wages (2009-2023)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
    Control Period
  • Network Rail sets plans and budgets in five-year periods called control periods, in which it establishes regulations and charges that effect industry operators.
  • Intermodal Transport
  • When shipping containers are moved on standardised trailers using different modes of transport.
  • Rolling Stock
  • The wheeled vehicles owned and used by a rail operator, including locomotives, freight cars and passenger cars.
  • Tonne Kilometres
  • The weight of freight hauled in tonnes, multiplied by the distance hauled in kilometres.
  • What Our Customers Say

    Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld’s Freight Rail Transport market research report offers insightful industry analysis and research into the market at the national level. IBISWorld’s in-depth industry market research is presented in a logical and consistent format. The industry report contains key industry statistics, market size, industry trends, and growth and profit forecasts for a 5-year outlook period.

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
    • Quickly build competitive intelligence
    This report on Freight Rail Transport:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Freight Rail Transport market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Freight Rail Transport, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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