Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

National Freight Data Hub

Every Australian, everywhere, every day relies on freight — so we need high quality, easily accessible data to make sure the freight sector is as efficient, safe, productive and resilient as possible.

In May 2021, the Australian Government committed $16.5 million over four years to establish the National Freight Data Hub (“the Hub”). This built on the $5.2 million provided in 2019-20 to settle the design of the Hub.

The Hub’s design and data projects are based on two years of consultation with industry and other stakeholders.

See our factsheet for an overview of the Hub PDF: 1081 KB.

For the latest news on the Hub, please see the Updates section.

What will the Hub do?

The Hub will be a federated data sharing network that has an initial focus on governments providing better access to their data; facilitates data exchange, including by establishing data standards; and promotes leadership and innovation.

By making high quality and timely freight data more widely available, the Hub will enhance the collection and access to freight data across all modes to:

  • improve strategic planning for infrastructure and transport network investment and other decisions,
  • improve the capture and sharing of freight data to support day to day operations, and
  • evaluate how the freight system is performing and what actions we can take to improve it.

The Hub has three primary functions:

  • Open data to provide better access to existing government data and build trust with industry by governments taking the first step,
  • Data exchange through an efficient and safe data sharing system supported by data standards, to enable businesses to share data for mutual benefit, and
  • Leadership and innovation to connect freight data users with each other and build skills, capability and connections.

Establishing a Hub as a trusted source of national freight data will provide a national picture of critical information to keep freight moving, such as where roadworks are occurring or the impact of congestion. It will also support container tracking to manage biosecurity and dangerous goods risks, forecast freight demand and provide insights into port performance.

National Freight Data Hub prototype website

The National Freight Data Hub prototype website showcases existing freight data provides an early demonstration of the value of improved freight data. The prototype website includes:

  • Insights: Explore freight data through interactive maps and graphs to identify trends and patterns.
  • Projects: Discover the work underway to improve freight data in Australia. Explore current projects being undertaken across governments and industry and learn more about the effort it takes to collect, curate and analyse the data we need, and the gaps and limitations of the data we have.
  • A freight data catalogue: Find data using the first curated and searchable national freight data catalogue for Australia. Help us to improve the catalogue by nominating high-quality open datasets for inclusion.

Data Projects

The Hub is focused on delivering 13 key projects identified as priorities during the design phase. The Hub’s data projects aim to enhance the collection, harmonisation and publication of freight data and methods and protocols for data exchange.

A full list of projects is given below:

Project Name Objectives
Freight Data Catalogue Establish the first curated and searchable catalogue of freight data with a national coverage.
Report progress on the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Improved freight data collection, sharing and analysis to support reporting on the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
Harmonise and release better quality data about road condition, road spending and road usage Harmonise and release better quality data about freight vehicles and their numbers on the roads, and road asset. 
Understanding truck movements using vehicle location data Understand truck movements for investment planning and benchmarking, by creating a harmonised national data set based on vehicle location.
Publish new Australian import and export data Increase the accessibility of Australian import and export data from the Customs Integrated Cargo System, to enhance understanding of freight flows from airports and maritime ports and support planning, prioritisation, and efficient operations.
Publish better quality performance data for ports Publish better quality performance data for our container ports. This will include more timely throughput data, improved understanding of hinterland container movements and working to align data standards for the container supply chain.
Publish new rail freight Data Increase the accessibility of rail data to improve industry and government understanding of the intra and interstate rail freight task, including train movement and consignment data, and asset data.
Promoting the exchange of freight consignment data between supply chain partners Promote the exchange of freight consignment data between supply chain partners to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the freight system. See the pilot projects here: Freight Data Exchange pilot projects—Summary Report 2020.
Establish a National Location Registry Establish a National Location Registry in collaboration with GS1 as an electronic ‘address book’ of freight locations and sites such as loading docks, agricultural, mining and construction sites. Find it here: https://www.gs1au.org/for-your-industry/freight-and-logistics/national-location-registry
Understand domestic shipping movements Publish domestic shipping movements and improve and integrate different sources of shipping data.
Evaluate and benchmark Australia’s supply chains using the CSIRO TraNSIT model Publish a prototype dashboard of the CSIRO TraNSIT model which provides an improved understanding of modelled supply chains. The develop and release additional international benchmarking assessments at the commodity level. 
Forecast freight demand Australian freight demand forecasts will provide a standard set of freight forecasts for use by government, industry and the broader community across all modes of freight (road, rail, air and sea).
Select and endorse freight data standards Select and endorse freight data standards to make it easier to compare and exchange freight data.

Updates

We regularly update the prototype website with new data and visualisations. The most recent update (September 2021) includes:

  •  A new visualisation of truck movements by Local Government Area using truck location data, designed to illustrate how useful this data could be with a larger sample size;
  • A new road selector tool for the congestion and rest area insights; and
  • New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics International Merchandise Trade dataset added to our data catalogue.

How to learn more and contribute

For more information on the Hub, please view our brochure PDF: 1074 KB

Please contact us at FreightDataHub@infrastructure.gov.au if you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive updates on the prototype website or implementation of the Hub.

Industry and other stakeholder consultation has shaped the design of the Hub over a number of years, including workshops, webinars, discussions with the Hub’s Industry Advisory Panel, and submissions to two discussion papers in 2019 PDF: 112 KB and 2020 DOCX: 1871 KB PDF: 8115 KB.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department) is collecting personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 for the purposes of informing interested stakeholders of progress towards a National Freight Data Hub.

The department will use your personal information to provide email updates on the National Freight Data Hub and will store this information securely.

The department’s Privacy Policy contains information regarding complaint handling processes, and how to access or seek correction of personal information held by the department. The Privacy Officer can be contacted at privacy@infrastructure.gov.au.