Doing business with Australia

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Industry Capability Report

 Road Safety ICR

Road Safety (PDF, 2.2MB)

This industry capability statement provides an overview of Australian capability in road safety, including examples of some of the many Australian organisations with specialist expertise.

Heavy Haul, Intermodal and Freight Rail Cover

Heavy Haul, Intermodal and Freight Rail (PDF, 2.1MB)
This industry capability report gives you an overview of Australian capability in the heavy haul, intermodal and freight rail industries, including examples of some of the many Australian companies with specialist expertise.

Cutting-edge products and services

As a country of immense land size, the Australian transport industry is of vital importance to the country's economy. We have a long history in shipbuilding and cutting-edge marine products and services, where overall, growth is steady, and comprised of three areas - defence related shipbuilding, commercial shipbuilding, and commercial repair and maintenance - for which we are increasingly renowned.

Australia’s strengths in design, research and development, master planning, engineering, construction and IT have been successfully used to build airports and associated urban developments in Australia and globally.

Australia's rail transport, both passenger and freight, is one of the most modern and sophisticated in the world in terms of construction and consultancy services. Our innovative engineering and technology solutions combating physical, economic and technical challenges are now sought around the world. Australia's heavy-haul railways carry some of the world's heaviest and longest freight-trains, while we also specialise in the installation and maintenance of light-rail systems.


Australia’s world-renowned expertise in aviation encompasses all areas of airport infrastructure and aerospace technology.

Working with government agencies, air traffic management authorities and private operators, Australian companies have assisted over 50 countries develop their aviation and airport infrastructure. For example, Australian noise and environmental monitoring systems have been incorporated in most of world’s major airports and cities including in London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Dubai. In addition, technology from an Australian firm is used in managing approximately 80 per cent of the world’s oceanic airspace.

Australian businesses also offer cutting-edge baggage handling and lighting systems, perimeter and landside security systems, and airport construction and project management technologies and services.

The Aviation Infrastructure Industry Directory

Austrade, together with the Industry Capability Network (ICN), have developed a new Airport Infrastructure Industry Capability Directory showcasing Australia’s aviation infrastructure, services and technology expertise. Click here to download a copy of the directory (PDF).

Shipbuilding (commercial)

Australian-built crafts are very competitively priced in the world market. Australian vessels – from kayaks and canoes through to state-of-the art catamarans and cruisers – are popular in domestic markets and are increasingly making a mark in the international marine scene.

Australian shipbuilders have an impressive record of efficiency and innovation and Australian-made ferries, super yachts, patrol boats, fishing boats, recreational vessels and marine equipment are used worldwide.

Innovation, design capabilities and workmanship are the hallmarks of Australian-made marine products. The industry is renowned for providing practical solutions for challenging marine situations.

Defence-related shipbuilding is the largest sector, following by commercial shipbuilding (ferries and catamarans) and commercial repair and maintenance, which is on the rise.

Australian marine equipment and accessory manufacturers have also gained global recognition for a diverse range of marine hardware, components and accessories, including marine ropes, radars, winches, barbecues, buoyancy aids, autopilots and dock flotation systems.

Responsive to niche maritime needs

A maritime nation with a diverse marine environment, the industry has always had to be responsive to customer needs – from fishing vessels to steel tugs for offshore oil and fast ferries.

Some of Australia’s niche markets include:

  • Fishing vessels, tugs and offshore oil and gas industry vessels built using steel.
  • Custom-built ferries for environmentally sensitive river and estuary systems.
  • High-speed car and passenger ferries. Since the Australian company Incat introduced its first 20 metre catamaran in 1978, Australia has supplied the world with more than 50 per cent of all the high-speed car/passenger ferries.

Shipbuilding (recreational)

Australia has a growing international reputation for quality and workmanship in of a range of recreational marine vessels, from dinghies to luxury motor yachts and cruisers.

One of the main advantages of Australian-made crafts is their speed because they are lightweight. Australia is a world leader in the design and production of high quality fibreglass, composite and aluminium boats, and has a 30 per cent share of the international market for aluminium shipbuilding.

Motorised yachts and offshore cruisers (eg. type manufactured by Riviera and Mustang Cruisers) make up nearly 75 per cent of all marine exports.

The main markets for Australian crafts are the USA and Europe. Other customers include New Zealand, Singapore, Spain and Japan. Customers from South East Asia, Europe, the Arabian Gulf, South America and the Caribbean are also discovering that Australia is an attractive supplier of world-class products.

Key players

Some of the key players in this industry are:

International boat shows include Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, Sydney International Boat Show, Melbourne Boat Show and Perth International Boat Show.


The range of Australian railway industry products and services being promoted into the world market is as diverse and as comprehensive as the Australian Railway Industry Corporation (ARIC) membership itself. Major successes in varied territories have enhanced our motto: thinking railways think Australia.

Railway transportation has become an integral component of the total logistics supply chain. Rail is able to contribute reduced cost, increased efficiency and environmental benefits.

Railway transportation systems exist not only to service business, but to stimulate the economy. Efficient transportation is not only a matter of responding to a level of demand, but it has the capability to increase supply and stimulate business across the economy.

Australian rail continues to push the limits of efficiencies for business across the world. Our heavy investment in technological advancement and product development will ensure we continue to be a competitive player within the global market place.

To find out more about the key players in the Australian railway industry, please refer to the Members Directory on the ARIC website.

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