Australia commits $8.5 million for National Freight Data Hub

A $8.5 million National Freight Data Hub, intended to help businesses and governments make better operational and investment decisions, has been announced.

“A well-designed Hub will improve access to and sharing of valuable freight location and performance data,” said federal minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development Michael McCormack.

“Access to better data means a more productive and resilient freight sector.”

Of the total $8.5 million commitment, $5.2 million will go towards the design of, including arrangements for data collection, protection, dissemination and hosting. The remaining $3.3 million will go towards 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 purpose.

The first discussion paper on the design of the National Freight Data Hub was released last week. It noted that there are several possible datasets to be incorporated into the hub, but that there is also an opportunity to improve accessibility to existing data sets.

“Sharing of freight data is also hampered by inconsistent and disparate approaches, such as data that cannot be compared across supply chains or states,” the paper notes.

Assistant minister for road safety and freight transport Scott Buchholz said the government is committed to helping meet Australia’s growing freight challenges and improve international competitiveness.

“Enhanced access to freight data helps industry, governments and others streamline day-to-day freight operations, make better investment decisions and evaluate the performance of Australia’s freight system,” Mr Buchholz said.

The Hub commitment builds on the comprehensive “Freight Data Requirements Study” from the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre.