iMOVE CRC research underpins new National Freight Data hub

iMOVE CRC research into Australia’s freight transport routes and distribution hubs is the basis for a new national repository of freight information, which will become progressively more comprehensive as sector users enter more data.

Recently, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DIRDC) launched a prototype of the National Freight Data Hub.

The prototype portal builds on success of the Freight data requirements study project, a pilot study under the iMOVE CRC

As outlined in the iMOVE project final report, a National Freight Data Hub will help solve the following issues facing Australia’s transport networks:

  • a lack of coordination and leadership in the approach of industry and government to freight data, undermining strategic planning;
  • a lack of capture or visibility of operational freight data, meaning supply chain risks cannot be proactively managed;
  • the inability of Australia’s freight sector, to date, to fully capitalise on available data and analytics, making it difficult to generate insights in order to improve performance.

As the project final report argues, industry involvement is crucial for these issues to be adequately addressed, and for the success of the NFDH.

It is industry, after all, that transports freight and generates information about how the freight transport system is used, such as freight volumes, freight vehicle use, routes used and transport costs. Industry also stands to benefit most from productivity and efficiency improvements that might be achieved through more timely exchange of information across supply chains.

The build and launch of the National Freight Data Hub prototype is an important step towards improving the national freight and logistics landscape, enabling 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.

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

  • insights – exploring freight data through interactive maps and graphs to identify trends and patterns;
  • new projects to improve freight data in Australia; and
  • development of the first curated and searchable national freight data catalogue for Australia.

According to 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 stakeholders in our freight networks to work together to improve efficiency and drive down the cost of freight.

Christensen sees the prototype as a big step forward.

“The prototype website has exceeded expectations,” he 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.”

Industry players are already seeing the benefits of a National Freight Data Hub.

“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,” says 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.”

Source: National Freight Data Hub prototype launched I iMOVE CRC