Freight Data Standards

There is a lot of freight data but it is fragmented and it can be difficult to compare one dataset with another. This can prevent the full value of the data from being realised, for example, if information for one state cannot be compared with another. The Hub will bring together freight datasets that have previously been incompatible. The challenge of datasets which aren’t structured the same way effects the ability to combine datasets from different sources.

The adoption of global data standards as digital building blocks will reduce costs and support interoperability along supply chains.

A simple example of how data standards can improve usefulness is for time series. Currently, quarterly, monthly and weekly data needs to be aggregated to the lowest common denominator (in this example quarterly) if the datasets are to be compared. This reduces the insights from the data, firstly because weeks don’t neatly fit into months and, by aggregating data to quarters it loses its granularity.

As we have worked to settle the design of the National Freight Data Hub, stakeholders have highlighted the importance of the Hub taking a leadership role in the development and, equally importantly, the adoption of data standards.

The Freight Data Requirements study and the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy also highlighted the need for a national approach to data consistency across jurisdictions and along supply chains.

Pilot projects, including the Freight Data Exchange and National Location Registry, are already working on developing and implementing data standards, and the design of the Hub will continue to drive the uptake of existing standards across Australia.

Case Study

Implementation of ISO certified GS1 global data standards

Logistics service providers play a significant role in today’s supply chains in all industry sectors, by managing the internal and external flows of goods. Efficient and resilient supply chains are essential for retailers, hospitals, pharmacies, the armed forces and manufacturers.

In many of these relationships, trading partners are faced with different business scenarios and data interchanges, especially when they move into more advanced interactions with logistics service providers. There is a need for common understanding of business processes, common communication and identification solutions, to overcome barriers of interoperability and scalability.

These solutions will lead to more transparency of operations and visibility of the flow of goods and ultimately remove redundant excessive cost from the supply chain. The foundation for a solution is a framework of common business processes supported by exchange of related information.

GS1 global data standards provide the freight sector with a digital framework to take the industry into the future through globally unique identification of freight units, which enable:

  • Enhanced visibility through a single identifier for tracking a freight unit as it moves along the supply chain.
  • Efficiencies by eliminating the need to re-identify and re-label freight at each point in the chain.
  • Streamlined data exchange between supply chain partners.
  • Globally unique identification of transport assets, companies and locations along the supply chain – essential for freight visibility.
  • Greater efficiency through automation of operational processes.
  • Interoperability across a fragmented industry through utilization of a common language of ISO certified global data standards.
  • Enhanced visibility for improved customer experience and levels of service.
  • Improved flow of information to reduce operational costs for all parties.

Global business logistics import export background and container cargo freight ship transport concept Global business logistics import export background and container cargo freight ship transport concept Economy Stock Photo

Case Study

Cross Border Projects

Cross border trading is as challenging as ever, especially for companies selling products that are faced with high levels of scrutiny by customs authorities. A one-day delay at the border is equivalent to a one per cent loss in export value and reduces trade competitiveness.

APEC trading partners are modernising trade systems and addressing issues that cause delays and costs at the border. The most common control and enforcement issues stem from lack of quality data, inconsistent product labelling and declarations, non-structured data formats, and missing information.

For further information please visit:

Videos and Webinars

Technical Documents

Freight Identification and Labelling standards

Data Exchange standards

Transport Glossary

Government & Industry Reports

GS1 Australia