Science and Technology

National Freight Data Hub prototype launched

National Freight Data Hub

Following on from our Freight data requirements study project, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DIRDC) has this week launched a prototype of the National Freight Data Hub.

As outlined in the final report on the iMOVE project, the National Freight Data Hub will help solve the following issues facing Australia:

  • Lack of coordination and leadership across industry and government in the approach to freight data is undermining strategic planning.
  • Operational freight data is not captured or visible, meaning supply chain risks cannot be proactively managed.
  • Australia’s freight sector is not fully capitalising on data and analytics, making it difficult to generate insight to improve performance.

As the final report on the pilot project makes clear, in order for this endeavour to be successful in addressing these three issues, industry involvement is crucial.

Industry cooperation and participation is essential to the success of the NFDH—it is industry that transports freight and generates information about how the freight transport system is used (e.g. freight volumes, freight vehicle use, routes used and transport costs).

Industry also stands to benefit most significantly from any potential productivity and efficiency improvements that might be achieved through more timely exchange of information across supply chains.

Multimodal Freight Data Exchange: Pilot Projects Summary Report, August 2020

The build and release of the National Freight Data Hub prototype is an important step to improving the national freight and logistics landscape, allowing industry to get involved and realise the benefits on offer through effective use of data.

“The Hub will highlight important information about traffic volumes, congestion, road condition and rest area usage, to improve road safety for the nation’s freight operators,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack.

Development over time

Continuing development on the prototype hub will ensure that its capability and usefulness grows over time. It will enable:

  • 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 freight data 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.

For iMOVE MD Ian Christensen, Australia’s size and distance from world markets increases the scale of its freight task and it is therefore incumbent on us to work together to be efficient and drive down the cost of freight. He believes that the prototype is a big step forward.

“The prototype website has exceeded expectations,” Christensen says.

“The National Freight Data Hub is a crucially important initiative and iMOVE is eager to continue working with government and businesses to embrace data and increase information sharing for improved freight productivity.”

Those involved now on the industry side certainly have seen the upside of a National Freight Data Hub already.

“The challenges of the past year have put a spotlight on the need for industry and government to work closely together across supply chains to deliver for the community,’ said Head of Transport Development for the Woolworths Group, Ben Newton.

‘The hub is a significant step forward in this collaboration, leveraging real-time data to achieve greater efficiency, safety and productivity outcomes across the transport network.’

Become involved in related projects

If you would like to talk to us about involvement in our hub-related activities, or about another freight data-related project, get in touch with iMOVE via the form linked here.

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