Freight Rail, Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation, Technology and IT

Transport commission aims to boost freight efficiency

Track Ballast - photo public domain

The National Transport Commission (NTC) on Friday launched a program to boost Australia’s freight efficiency by delivering what it says will be quicker and cheaper road, rail and intermodal networks.

The program is aimed to introduce:

  • reporting on systems, tools and decisions that have already been shown to increase productivity in different states, territory or local government areas;
  • options to increase load volumes to be safely carried by high-productivity trucks; and,
  • investigations into performance-based standards to highlight design innovation.

NTC acting chief executive Michelle Hendy said the commission has worked with its stakeholders to identify reform areas.

“A growing economy needs more productive transport networks and these projects will help us find new ways of getting goods to market more efficiently,” she said.

The new work program was approved by Australia’s transport ministers last week.

Hendy said the NTC would continue to focus on technology to keep improving the operation of Australia’s transport networks.

“The effective use of new and emerging technology provides Australia with an opportunity to grow our economy, increase productivity, improve safety and reduce regulatory burden,” she said.

“The NTC helps to resolve issues so Australia can take full advantage of the benefits of new technology.

“For example, the use of increasingly autonomous vehicles provides great opportunities for better productivity and safety for both road and transport and rail transport alike.”

A technology sub-program is part of the work program, and will include assessing the potential regulatory and operational barriers for using transport technology for safety, commercial and regulatory purposes.

It will also facilitate the release and sharing of electronic information for areas including the location of rail level crossings.

The NTC is an independent statutory body that develops regulatory and operational reform of road, rail and intermodal transport.

This article originally appeared in Rail Express sister publication, Lloyd’s List Australia.