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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 7

I The First 100 Years 1788-1888

II Railways

III Motorised Vehicles
i Trucks
ii Truck Manufacturing
iii Road Trains
iv The Diesel Electric Ore Trucks
v Buses and Coaches

IV Aviation

V Modern Shipping

VI Innovative Small Craft

VII Conclusion

VIII Acknowledgements

IX Contributors



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Trucks (continued)

The effect of these decisions was to free all inter-State road transport from all forms of economic regulation.

Deregulation gave a great boost to road transport operators at the expense of competing forms of transport, namely, railways and shipping. Competition between trucking companies, particularly owner drivers, was fierce and overloading and excessive driving hours had to be strictly enforced. In 1957 Victoria introduced new legislation requiring inter-State road operators to pay a contribution to road maintenance. This contribution depended upon the size and payload capacity of the vehicle and the annual distance covered. Other States followed the Victorian Act after it had been declared valid by the High Court.

As a result of some rationalisation of the industry and the establishment of several large efficient operators, the current structure of the road transport industry emerged. Inherent in the success of the large transport firms was their involvement in freight forwarding, which they had developed to a high level of efficiency.

Freight forwarders were able to gain a competitive advantage by combining consignments from many sources so as to maximise the efficient utilisation of vehicles in terms of volume and load capacities. Road transport operators, particularly owner drivers, or small trucking companies who had limited sources of freight, were at a disadvantage in such pack consolidations.

At the same time, the railways responded to deregulation by wholesaling wagon capacity to freight forwarders at rates which offered incentives to fully utilise the wagons. Thus the large road freight forwarders became multi-model. Freight forwarders developed efficient terminals with road and rail access so that they were able to meet the needs of their customers using the mode of least cost or shortest delay.

An interesting development of the freight forwarding business has been the trend to the employment of owner drivers by the larger transport companies. The present structure of the industry is built around the four large national freight forwarding firms, Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd., Brambles Industries Ltd., Ansett Freight Express Ltd., and Mayne Nickless Ltd., who dominate the inter-State part of the market and make a major contribution to much of the intra-State market.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Ansett Freight Express Ltd; Brambles Industries Ltd; Mayne Nickless Ltd; Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd (T.N.T)

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© 1988 Print Edition page 498, Online Edition 2000
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