Disintegrative Power Structures in Australian Export Airfreight Chains
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There is a perception in the air freight community that the Australian air freight industry operates in an uncoordinated, disintegrated way with third party logistics providers and others attempting to maximize revenues and profits (in effect, to appropriate maximum value) in a ‘cost plus’ working environment. The impression has been reinforced by traditional airlines who have focused their business model on an airport to airport basis, allowing, the recently established ‘integrators’ such as DHL, FedEx and others - effectively their competitors in express and other freights - the capability to offer their customers an integrated door-to-door service. In this respect, the integrators have structured and marketed themselves to operate in an end-to-end, fully integrated and controlled operating model. Some industry managers, having observed the continual downward spiral of air freight yields being achieved by traditional airlines, have attributed these falling yields to over-capacity in the supply side of the air freight markets. This thesis suggests, however, that this view is overly simplistic and that there are more complex factors at play. Particularly, it was much impressed and inspired by the relatively recent work of Andrew Cox and his associates at Birmingham University who have developed an important, relevant and realistic conceptual framework that focuses on the power relationships between individual firms in a chain (dyadic relationships) or between sets of chain players (power regimes) in supply chains; and on the ability of firms enjoying significant levels of power within the supply chain to appropriate above normal returns (or economic rents) and to exert dominance over firms with little or no power in the chain. In effect, Cox argued that the actions and business behaviour of individual firms in the supply chain could, and do, have a direct bearing on the efficiency of the chain as a whole entity. Robinson, following and modifying some aspects of the Cox framework was the first to apply Cox’s work to freight movement and the special role of third party service or logistics providers in chains and in particular, to ocean freight and maritime and port-related freight movements.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences
Item Access Status
Air freight industry