Road freight touches nearly every sector of the economy, with construction and retail sectors more heavily dependent on road transport. Gross national expenditure is closely linked to road freight activity. Road freight has grown by around 2 per cent per annum over the 10 years to 2020. Road freight volume is projected to increase between 2020 and 2050, mainly due to the rise of ecommerce. Road freight is facing a number of challenges, including congestion; road safety; greater noise and environmental regulation; and access, curfews, parking and kerbside space in urban areas.

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Growth in road freight task between 2000-01 and 2022-23*
Projected growth in road freight volume between 2020 and 2050**
241.8 billion
Tonne kilometres of road freight moved in 2022-23*
Road transport jobs in August 2023*

Data focus

The NFDH is undertaking road projects that involve collecting and benchmarking nationally consistent data to track Australia's road network. The data can help to find bottlenecks, target planning, and prioritise investment decisions.  

Road agencies are sharing their road condition and expenditure data with the NFDH, and we are supporting the development of National Service Level Standards for Roads, under the Heavy Vehicle Road Reform national agenda. 


  • Nationally consistent, harmonised (unified), and secure data to enable efficient national benchmarking through the National Service Level Standards (NSLS) for roads

  • Better understanding of the impacts of road condition, the number and types of vehicles using a road, and vehicle operating cost models for prioritisation of road investment projects


Do you work in the road freight industry? We’re improving road data by putting in place data sharing agreements with state and territory agencies. If you produce road data and are not a part of our project yet, find out more about how 2-way data sharing can help you improve outcomes and boost productivity.

Sources: *Australian Infrastructure and Transport Statistics Yearbook 2023, **Australian aggregate freight forecasts – 2022 update