Road freight data collection study starts

David Coonan, ATA national policy manager

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is conducting a feasibility study into the ongoing collection of road freight data.

Road freight is the largest component of the national freight task, with trucks carrying 75 percent of Australia’s freight, including every item on supermarket shelves. However, the industry is not currently monitored in an ongoing manner. The Department of Infrastructure and Transport is providing the ABS with funding to investigate the possibility to provide better information for future policy development and infrastructure investment decisions.

The ABS says for businesses using freight management software, providing data could be as easy as printing a report. For businesses that do not have software of this nature, the ABS will continue to use the existing Survey of Motor Vehicle Use to assess operations.

The feasibility study will conclude in September, with full data collection commencing after this time subject to funding. The first full set of national road freight statistics would be available in 2015.

The Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) national policy manager, David Coonan, said the study had the potential to improve the robustness of the data available to both industry and government.

“Having reliable freight data is very important to enable the ATA and its members to influence government investment decisions, and to have informed operational policies,” David said.

All data collected by the ABS is protected under law by strict confidentiality provisions. For further information, the ABS freight team can be contacted at


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