The Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TraNSIT) is a model, developed by CSIRO through incorporating information and expert knowledge from over 400 agencies and organisations across Australia, that provides a rigorous representation of logistics and supply chains. It models and maps millions of vehicle trips across thousands of supply chains between production and domestic and export markets. In each supply chain, it selects the least-cost travel path as well as vehicle configuration, accommodating road conditions, driver fatigue regulations and vehicle decoupling costs.
It outputs information on freight paths, detailed transport costs and critical link analysis, providing valuable input to inform infrastructure investment and regulatory decisions.
Through scenarios involving changed conditions, TraNSIT can show potential transport cost fluctuations associated with infrastructure investments or regulatory changes, highlighting options where change would be most beneficial. The TraNSIT tool can also be used operationally to reduce travel distance and time, save fuel costs, cut down on wear and tear to vehicles and minimise market value losses of transported products.
TraNSIT was initially developed in 2012 to examine and provide solutions for the long-distance cattle supply chains in northern Australia and then broadened out to include agriculture supply chains through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper in 2017.
More recently TraNSIT has been extended to include supply chains for fuels, forestry, mining, manufacturing and general freight. TraNSIT currently models approximately 70 per cent of Australia’s inbound and outbound supply chains (approximately 65 per cent of road, and 95 per cent of rail freight transport), across 150 commodities. Current extensions include additional commodities such as construction materials and waste, as well as coastal shipping of freight. It has also been applied to major national infrastructure projects such as: freight transport on the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, Northern Australia Beef Roads Programme and Roads of Strategic Importance.
The success of TraNSIT in Australia has led to its use internationally, in particular in Vietnam and Indonesia, addressing freight challenges of moving agriculture from production to markets in urban areas.
To meet the rapidly rising demand for TraNSIT, the CSIRO team, with support from the Australian Government departments of Infrastructure and Agriculture, developed TraNSIT Web – a tool for industry and government to access key information. This tool is now helping inform decision making to reduce transport costs, providing benefits for farmers and producers, as well as other benefits such as improved safety and reduced environmental impacts.
TraNSIT is continually growing and evolving to support new stakeholders across Australia’s regions, industry sectors, and all levels of government. Current projects include:
A number of reports are available demonstrating how TraNSIT can help better understand Australia’s supply chain systems and opportunities for them: