Fact sheet
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Freight rates are a key factor influencing freight mode choice and the costs of freight-reliant business sectors, such as mining, construction, and the retail and wholesale trades. As such, they affect the profitability of Australian industry. This Information Sheet presents an estimate of interstate freight rates for road, rail, sea and air modes back to 1965. Models of the first three modes are also presented, allowing an understanding of the determinants of the level and movement of freight rates in Australia. The estimates and models presented show that following rapid declines in real freight rates during 1975 to 1985 for road and 1985 to 1995 for rail and sea, the trend has since been basically sideways – higher or lower due to trends in technology, fuel prices and the economy. Air freight rates have had steep rises and falls, but have also been stable since the late 1990s.

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