Every Australian, everywhere, every day, relies on freight.
The National Freight Data Hub (NFDH) is a new way for industry and governments to share and use freight data. The Hub will provide open access to government data, help industry share data together, and collectively answer the big questions about Australia's freight performance and how we can improve it.
Freight operators, producers and customers will benefit from the increased data sharing generated from the Hub, helping everyone understand better how and where freight is being moved, where the delays are and where the opportunities are to become more globally competitive.
The prototype National Freight Data Hub website was launched in May 2021 to demonstrate the value of improved access to freight data. An enduring website is under development and will extend the prototype further.
What will the Freight Data Hub Deliver?
Hear from industry representatives on what the National Freight Data Hub will do for the industry.
We consulted across industry, governments, researchers and other stakeholders to understand the enduring questions about Australian freight:
- What freight is being moved to, from and around Australia?
- Where is freight being moved?
- How is freight being moved?
- How can we enhance supply chain visibility?
- What and where are the physical and regulatory bottlenecks and barriers for the efficient and safe movement of freight?
- What proportion of traffic is freight?
- How well are Australia's freight transport networks performing?
- How do the costs of Australia's supply chains compare with international competitors?
- How much of the freight fleet is running with spare capacity and what are the opportunities to increase efficiency of back loading?
- What and where are the opportunities for freight movements to be more efficient and safer?
To address these questions, we must collect the following essential data.
Current Freight Data Projects
We are filling high priority gaps in this data with the following projects
- Freight Data Catalogue
- National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Reporting
- Road Data
- Truck Movement Data
- Customs Data
- Container Data
- Rail Freight Data
- Freight Consignment Data Exchange
- National Location Registry
- Domestic Sea Freight Data
- National Freight & Supply Chain Strategy International Benchmarking
- Forecasting Freight Demand
- Freight Data Standards
Please contact us if you would like to stay up to date with the development of these projects or be notified when more data is added to the prototype website or new visualisations are created.
To answer the enduring questions, using data from multiple projects, interactive visualisations have been generated from the data projects and the data sets they developed.
- Truck movements by Local Government Areas
- Number of Trucks on Roads
- Roadworks and Road Closures
- Road Condition and Expenditure
- Rest Areas
- Volume versus Value
- Container Counts
- Imports and Exports
This prototype - Data Limits
Prototyping a National Freight Data Hub website has enabled the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) to work with developers and industry to quickly and flexibly release a website for industry and governments to test and engage with. A user experience review - using analytics on the website and user feedback - has been conducted to inform the design of an enduring website.
Prototyping also enabled BITRE to interact with existing and new data in novel ways. Data quality and suitability assessments are ongoing and a focus for the Hub's project teams will be working to improve the quality of the Hub's data holdings.
We are aware of limitations with the data used in the prototype website's visualisations as follows:
- Only two years of road condition data is currently reported. However, more roads were added to the dataset by the Northern Territory and South Australia in 2018. There is no data for Victoria in 2018.
Truck movement data
- While this data currently represents only a small percentage of the overall fleet and is not recommended for decision-making at present, the insights demonstrate how valuable truck telematics data could be to inform investment planning, if industry participation grows and more trucks can be added to the sample.
- It is not possible to combine the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics and Transport Certification Australia road datasets as the base map geometries used by the two datasets are different, and the de-identification and aggregation of the data makes projecting to another base map difficult.
- The Transport Certification Australia and Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics datasets are not directly comparable, Transport Certification Australia uses average speed while the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics use median speed, the sample sizes change over time, the two data sources cover different time periods and they sample road segments differently.
- The de-identification process involves aggregating data either by road segment, time and heavy vehicle type. Road segments with fewer than ten vehicle movements are reported as having '1-10 trips'.
- The number of heavy vehicles in the telematics datasets are small compared to the total number on the road network and hence not necessarily representative of movements of the broader truck fleet.
- There is likely a small proportion of duplicated trucks across the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics and Transport Certification Australia datasets.
- The telematics data doesn't include information of the nature of the freight being moved and includes journeys made by trucks which might be empty as well as where trucks are being repositioned.
- The Transport Certification Australia data has a small number of heavy vehicles which don't move freight e.g. concrete pumps and cranes.
- There are other ways to calculate congestion, free-flow speeds could be set equal to the posted speed limit on each road segment. However, posted speed limits are not currently available digitally for all roads in Australia.
- Some truck operators are interested in helping their customers understand the impact of congestion on their operations, and encourage greater use of freight transport services outside congested periods. This would assist with fleet optimisation, with trucks spending less time in congestion. Further consultation with industry will help refine the 'congestion measures'.
Rest areas data
- Some states and territory datasets have rest areas which don't distinguish between light and heavy vehicles. Where feasible the Hub shows only heavy vehicle rest areas.
- Rest area data for Transport Certification Australia and Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics was combined as both datasets use longitude/latitude to specify the locations.
- Rest stop events have been classified as places where a vehicle stopped for 15 minutes or more and within 200 metres of a formal rest area location. Not all stops will necessarily be rest stop events.
- To ensure no individual vehicle can be identified, where the number of vehicle stops at any rest area is ten or fewer, it is reported as 1-10 stops.
- The facilities listed as being available at rest areas is reliant on information supplied by state open data sources and may be incomplete.
Truck movements by local government areas data
- The origins and destinations are calculated from when a truck has stopped in one location for more than one hour. However, not all stops of one hour will necessarily be the start (loading) or finish (unloading) of the freight.
- Where there are between 1-10 truck trips between two local government areas the visualisation will show ten trips were made. This is to deidentify movements between two geographies.
- The telematics data doesn't include information of the nature of the freight being moved and includes journeys made by trucks which might be empty as well as where trucks are being repositioned. While this data currently represents only a small percentage of the overall fleet, this insight demonstrates how valuable truck telematics data can be if industry participation grows. It is not recommended that the visualisation be used, at this time, for decision making as the data sample is too small.
- Data is limited to goods which pass the customs frontier and for which customs declarations are required.
- Imports under $1000 and exports under $2000 do not have to be declared and are not included in the data.
- The visualisation shows nominal figures for value of the commodity. The historical value of the imports and exports has not been adjusted for inflation to make it directly comparable between years.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics makes some data confidential. Further information can be found in the Confidential Commodities List. Where necessary, a restriction is placed to suppress detail, the level of detail depends on the nature of the restriction.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics changed how confidentialised import data from and export data was handled from September 2008 and June 2013 respectively. See the International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2018 for details.
- While every effort is made by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data there may be some revisions in the data as more complete and accurate information becomes available. Revisions to data may occur after initial release.
- Goods simply transported through Australia (goods in transit), and goods entering or leaving Australia on a temporary basis e.g. for repair or for exhibition, are not included in Australia's international merchandise trade. Where such goods are entered on an import or export declaration they are included in Australia's international non-merchandise trade. Examples include art exhibits, racehorses, vessels sent overseas for repairs, and the personal belongings of passengers.
- There are different variables for values.
- Further information on the limitations of the data can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2018.
- Waterline data has been collected since 1994, however, data fields have changed over time so only data from 2011 has been visualised to ensure a consistent time series.
- The data is aggregated so individual container movements can't be isolated. The data is presented for each port quarterly
- Container counts are aggregated from different points in the supply chain, sourced from different data providers with differing operational requirements. As such, aggregate container counts vary between indicators.
Road throughput refers to containers booked through the Vehicle Booking System (VBS) or Truck Appointment System (TAS). Containers not captured in this measure are not included in the road throughput.