The National Freight Data Hub prototype website has launched, with the Federal Government allocating $16.5 million in funding in the 2021-22 Budget to develop the Hub further over the next four years.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Hub will be a resource of freight data for industry, government and others — improving the efficiency, safety and resilience of the freight sector.
“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,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This commitment will in turn support the day-to-day operations of the transport industry, provide enhanced freight data across all supply chains and enable a data driven approach for future strategic planning and investment.
“Every Australian, everywhere, every day relies on a truck driver, which is why we need high-quality, easily accessible data to make sure the movement of goods and services is as efficient as possible, especially as Australia’s freight task grows.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said industry asked for a congestion metric to assist with business and the Federal Government has delivered with the prototype Hub website.
“The prototype website is an important first step that shows the Hub’s potential as a game-changer for the Australian freight and supply chain industry,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
“The website showcases government and industry cooperation on a number of projects and allows users to search for data relevant to their business.
“In new world-leading visualisations, interactive truck telematics maps are publicly available at a national level with insights on congestion in our cities and a national map of truck rest stops.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown more than ever the critical importance of our freight supply chains and all those involved.
“This initiative informed by government, industry and others is a win-win for everyone.”
Toll’s Head of Innovation, Peter Carney, believes the congestion data will give the freight industry, and all road users, a better understanding of where and when congestion is occurring.
“This will enable road users and governments to develop strategies for managing the effects of congestion,” Mr Carney said.
“The maps will assist drivers in planning their routes, because knowing where not to drive is as important as knowing where to drive.
“Collaborating with the National Freight Data Hub has been an exciting project and we look forward to implementing changes on the ground using the data.”
NSW Ports’ Chief Executive Officer, Marika Calfas, said the prototype website is an important first step toward a comprehensive National Freight Data Hub.
“A fully developed National Freight Data Hub, with data across all supply chains, will assist with decision-making and evidence led-investments to enhance the efficiency and resilience of Australia’s freight supply chains and to quantify investment outcomes,” Ms Calfas said.
iMOVE Managing Director, Ian Christensen, said Australia’s size and distance from world markets increases the scale of its freight task, making it incumbent on us to work together to be efficient and drive down the cost of freight.
“The prototype website has exceeded expectations,” Mr Christensen said.
“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.”
Former Australian Logistics Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Kirk Coningham OAM, said data is the new oil and having an integrated National Freight Data Hub is critical to the delivery of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“The ALC commends the Government on the launch of the prototype website and looks forward to working together on this vital project, to ensure it meets the needs of industry now and into the future,” Mr Coningham said.
Ben Newton, Head of Transport Development for Woolworths Group also had positive comments regarding the prototype website.
“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. 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,” Mr Newton said.
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is developing the National Freight Data Hub in close consultation with industry, governments and other stakeholders.
The National Freight Data Hub prototype website can be found here.