The changing nature of the transport market for manufactured commodities in Queensland imposed by deregulation and the rise of the just-in-time market has made serious inroads into the Queensland Rail's market share and therefore profitability. This has contributed to an annual loss in general freight activities of $480 million. This plus the new legislative requirement for a corporate plan has realised a need for and expansion from a local approach to marketing to the formulation of a strategic market plan, which assists as a tool for the organisation to meet its objectives.
This report aims to outline a strategic market plan by analysing the external environment for opportunities and threats and then analysing the internal environment for the organisation's strengths and weaknesses, through estimating market shares in manufactured commodities.
The transport market in Queensland is generally mature and the nature of rail transport dictates that marketing strategies of differentiation, penetration, and focus are most appropriate. Differentiation means that the railway sees itself primarily as a freight wholesaler. Rail has the capability of performing best in markets beyond 500 km for nonbulk freight. In addition, "landbridging" with bulk and containerised transport are a particular focus for breaking into new markets where possible.
There is scope for further consolidation of freight to take advantage of the rail's competitive advantages in hauling large commodities. This requires the further use of third party retailers (freight forwarders) which are separate entities from the main organisation, for the consolidation and break-bulk functions at each end of the rail haul.