Posted February 02, 2019 16:50:54AUSTRALIAN freight jobs have soared since the opening of the freight train service from Melbourne to Sydney last year, with the number of people employed in the sector now estimated to be over 2 million.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says the freight sector has also grown at a rate of 12.4 per cent over the past year.
Its latest figures for March showed 2.6 million Australians were employed in freight.
In total, the industry employs about 2.5 million people, with a number of factors influencing the number, including the popularity of the service and the impact of the mining boom.
AUSTRAC has predicted a boom in the industry as demand for freight continues to rise and Australians start to spend more time in the field.
“The trend is to expect freight to grow in coming years, and we expect that to be driven by a number: increased use of rail, increased use on trucks, and increased demand for trucks,” AUSTRac senior research associate John Geddes said.
Australia has the second-largest cargo fleet in the world, after the United States, with 1.3 million trucks delivering goods between the ports of Newcastle and Melbourne.
It is expected the number will increase to 1.7 million trucks by 2021, according to the Government.
Geddes expects the sector to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4per cent in the decade to 2021.
While the boom in freight jobs is happening in Australia, overseas firms have also seen an increase in the number in recent years.
An ABS report last year estimated the number on Australian cargo jobs was around 1.8 million, compared to a CAGR of 3.5 per cent in China, the United Kingdom and Japan.
More:Tampa’s cargo jobs growth was driven by the introduction of the rail service in the state, according Mr Gedding.
This will allow the state to more quickly recruit workers to fill those jobs, Mr Geades said, adding the growth was also supported by increased investment in the infrastructure.
Tampa also had an increase of 12 per cent of the industry’s workforce last year compared to the previous year, which saw 1.5 jobs created.
Despite the high growth, the growth of the sector has come at a cost, Mr Gregan said.
“We are paying for it in terms of the cost of living in the town, which is about $60,000, so we have to keep up with that, which we do,” he said.