The National Freight Data Hub

The Australian Government has committed $8.5 million to settle the design of a National Freight Data Hub, which will help business and governments plan and make better operational and investment decisions. This commitment includes:

  • $5.2 million to settle the design of a national freight data hub, including arrangements for data collection, protection, dissemination and hosting
  • $3.3 million for the establishment of a freight data exchange pilot to allow industry to access freight data in real time and a survey of road usage for freight purposes

Discussion Paper

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities, and Regional Development (the Department) is seeking input from potential users of the Freight Data Hub to help settle the design.

The discussion paper asks a series of questions to seek views on the data hub design. The questions focus on the purposes of the Hub, priority datasets for inclusion, sharing principles and priority outputs. Issues around hosting and funding of the Hub will be covered in a future discussion paper.

Submissions for the discussion paper are due by 6 December 2019 and should be emailed to freightdatahub@infrastructure.gov.au. Submissions will be published on the website unless you request otherwise.

Privacy statement

Your submission, including any personal information supplied, is being collected by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act), for the purpose of settling the design of a National Freight Data Hub (the hub).

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The department seeks stakeholder views to inform the collaborative design of the hub.

Your personal information will be stored securely by the department and will not be disclosed to third parties except as outlined below.  It may be used by the department to make further contact with you about the consultation process.

Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be published on the department's website or as part of future project consultation or development, unless the submission is confidential. Confidential submissions (including author name) will not be published. Private addresses and contact details will not be published or disclosed to any third parties unless required by law.

Submissions will only be treated as confidential if they are expressly stated to be confidential. Automatically generated confidentiality statements or disclaimers appended to an email do not suffice for this purpose. If you wish you make a confidential submission, you should indicate this by ensuring your submission is marked confidential.

All submissions will be kept securely and may be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister;
  • where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia; or
  • where required by law.

The department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.

Please note that in order to protect the privacy of individuals any submissions containing sensitive personal information, or information which may reasonably be used to identify a person or group of people may not be published, even if not marked as confidential.

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

Designing the Hub

Over the next two years, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development will be working closely with industry, governments and other stakeholders on the freight data hub design. The project will deliver:

  • An agreed approach on critical design elements
  • A business case including refined options for Government consideration
  • A roadmap for implementation and
  • System specifications, including hosting and interface considerations

As part of the design process, the Department will also be integrating pilot projects and other data initiatives into a prototype hub to test and inform the design and business case for implementation.

Why design a freight data hub?

Better freight data could enhance the efficiency of Australia’s freight supply chain, and benefit our community and economy through higher productivity. The need for improved freight data was a key focus of the industry led Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, and is an important part of delivering the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

This project is informed by the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre’s review of Australia’s freight data needs. The purpose is to enhance collection of and access to freight data, across all modes, to:

  • Support day to day operations
  • Improve infrastructure and transport network investment decisions, and
  • Enable end-to-end performance evaluation for Australia’s freight system

What are the critical areas for design?

Four critical areas for design are:

  • Data collection: working toward agreed principles for data collection, including standards and priority gaps
  • Protection and confidentiality: developing agreed needs for cyber security, data protection, and future proofing
  • Dissemination: designing modes of aggregation, access needs, supporting sharing protocols and agreements
  • Hosting: spanning development of a business model, structure and technical specifications, and a roadmap for iterative implementation

The project team will be engaging further on these issues and providing more information as the design project progresses through workshops and refinement of concepts.

How we will approach the design

To best address these areas in design, the department will:

  • Collaborate and consult, seeking guidance from industry and jurisdictions
  • Look to learn from international best practice
  • Take an iterative approach, workshopping and refining concepts throughout the project
  • Developing concepts to show user desirability, system feasibility and business viability
  • Testing and using pilot projects to inform a proof of concept.

How to contribute or get more information

Email freightdatahub@infrastructure.gov.au to express your interest in contributing your views or getting progress updates on the hub design project.