Bureau of Stats has new look at heavy road freight task

National survey aims to give clearer idea of funding needs and spending priorities

Bureau of Stats has new look at heavy road freight task
The ABS has updated figures, after 13 years, with new methodology.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its first snapshot of road freight movements in 13 years.

The organisation says it applies an updated methodology to inform its Road Freight Movements Survey, funded by government transport agencies and aimed at addresses a major road funding information gap.

The survey provides details on the size and characteristics of the road freight task for articulated and rigid trucks only, including flows between geographic areas.

It finds road freight originating from New South Wales represents 25.3 per cent of all road freight transported in Australia.

This was followed by Queensland at 23.4 per cent, Victoria 22.5 per cent and Western Australia 17.5 per cent.

More than 95.7 per cent of the total tonnes carried by road were carried within the same state of origin and destination.

"Sand, stone and gravel was the most common commodity moved across all states and territories, making up about 23 per cent of the total tonnes moved across Australia," ABS spokeswoman Amanda Clark says.

‘General freight’ was the major commodity moved nationally, accounting for 22.4 per cent (43.759 billion) of all tonne-kilometres travelled.

‘Food’, for animal and human consumption, was the next highest contributor with 15.6 per cent (30.544 billion) followed by ‘sand, stone and gravel’ with 9.5 per cent (18,.614 billion).

Excluding general freight, food for animal or human consumption was the major commodity moved for all states and territories except WA, where 8,770 million tonne-kilometres of metalliferous ores and metal scrap were transported, and in the ACT where 130 million tonne-kilometres of sand, stone and gravel were delivered.

Of the total tonne-kilometres travelled, 32 per cent (or 62,617 million) were for interstate freight movements.

For each state and territory, except Queensland, WA and Tasmania, close to half of the total tonne-kilometres travelled were for freight moving interstate.

For all states and territories of origin, less than 11.5 per cent of the total tonnes carried were for interstate freight movements.

"The higher percentage for tonne-kilometres is due to the higher number of kilometres travelled in interstate trips," the report says.

NSW hogged the amount of total tonne-kilometres travelled to a destination, at 25.9 per cent (50,571 million).

It was followed by Queensland at23.7 per cent (46,314 million) and Victoria 19.3 per cent (37,670 million), while Western Australia accounted for 18.5 per cent (36,243 million).

Unsurprisingly, the state with biggest landmass, WA, also had the biggest intrastate freight task, at 33,746 million tonne-kilometres.

The full report can be found here.

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