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Evolution of transport logistics patterns and characteristics of innovative Tasmanian firms


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Refaei, N 2010 , 'Evolution of transport logistics patterns and characteristics of innovative Tasmanian firms', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Understanding transport logistics trends as a basis for sustainable transport policymaking is
a growing research field. Within this field, a focus on transport logistics needs of
innovative firms has received hardly any attention despite their greater importance to
sustainable economic growth compared with non-innovative firms.
This research addressed this gap by determining the evolution of transport logistics
patterns and characteristics of innovative firms in the small-scale economy of Tasmania,
Australia, for the period 2002-03 to 2005-06. The main implications of this evolution for
public transport policymaking, although not representing a major focus of the research,
were also identified. To achieve its aim, the research included a comparative assessment
between innovative and non-innovative firms in terms of their freight transport intensity
and contribution to Tasmanian economic growth.
The objective of the research was to provide a missing link in the knowledge chain of
transport policymaking that would assist transport policymakers in understanding current
and future transport logistics needs of innovative firms. This, in turn, could enable the
development of sustainable transport policies that meet such needs and support the
competitiveness and growth of innovative firms, and hence the growth of the economy.
The methodology of the research consisted of an industry-based and logistics-oriented
quantitative analysis developed within the boundaries of a broader methodological
framework in the research field of identifying logistics trends. The analysis was applied on
two secondary datasets. The first dataset consisted of the land freight tasks in 2002-03 and
2005-06 provided by the Tasmanian Department of Infrastructure Energy and Resources.
The second dataset was from the Tasmanian innovation census for the period 2004 to 2006
provided by the Australian Innovation Research Centre of the University of Tasmania. The research found that innovative Tasmanian firms were more export-oriented,
contributed more to economic growth, and were more freight-intensive, than the general
population of firms. It also found that innovative Tasmanian firms had distinctive transport
logistics patterns and characteristics, and hence distinctive transport logistics requirements.
In particular, they were more intensive users of road/rail intermodal transport, and their
transport logistics characteristics in general are becoming increasingly more suitable for
intermodal transport.
Overall, the findings imply that the capacity of innovative firms to contribute to sustainable
economic growth would be enhanced through long-term transport policymaking tailored to
their distinctive needs. For Tasmania, this could be achieved by centring transport
policymaking on the development of a small-scale intermodal transport system that could
accommodate changes in the transport logistics needs created by the dynamics of supply
chain management of innovative firms. A further issue is whether innovative firms have
distinctive inherent characteristics from a transport logistics perspective and this too calls
for further investigation.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Refaei, N
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