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Freight consignment data aggregation pilot

freight data study colourful freight container perspective

The Data Aggregation Pilot Project is investigating how industry freight data can be harnessed to inform infrastructure planning and policy priorities.

The aims of the Data Aggregation Pilot Project are to assess the feasibility and utility of aggregating freight consignment event/message data to produce outputs that help inform infrastructure planning and freight policy.

The project will also seek to identify any issues involved in enabling data transfer between supply chain partners, including institutional (e.g. approval processes), legal and technological issues, with a view to identifying further work that would be required to expedite data transfer across the broader industry.

This project is part of a three-project series. The other two are:

  • Supply Chain Freight Data Trial
  • Multimodal Supply Chain Trial

These two associated projects aim to demonstrate capability for industry to access freight data in real-time to improve supply chain freight visibility, thereby contributing to increased productivity in supply chains.


Project background

Road freight data has historically been collected using large-scale sample surveys, which are high cost, relatively infrequent and often involve a significant lag between data collection and availability of survey results. Furthermore, sample surveys, while providing reliable information about high-level trends are often unable to provide reliable, detailed-level information required to inform infrastructure planning and investment decisions at the local level.

Developments and growth in use of digital technologies to monitor and manage freight consignments and freight vehicles offers a potential alternative source of data to traditional survey-based collection methods.

The Australian Government (through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications) in collaboration with iMOVE, and as part of the formation of a national freight data hub, is investigating how to strengthen and broaden freight data collection in Australia by harnessing freight consignment-related data sources and/or supply chain messages.

Project objectives

The aim of this project is to utilise data (EPCIS event data, EDI transport messages, etc.) collected through the two ‘supply chain’ Freight Data Exchange pilot projects (listed above) to assess the feasibility and utility of aggregating freight consignment event/message data to produce outputs that help inform infrastructure planning and freight policy.

The main objectives of the Freight Consignment Data Aggregation pilot project are:

  • Investigate the feasibility of aggregating freight consignment event/message data and producing outputs to help inform infrastructure planning and freight policy development.
  • Using a sample of ‘raw’ consignment event/message data, develop prototype methods and systems to process, store and transform the raw data into usable outputs.
  • Assess the feasibility and utility of different data collection/sharing methods, including machine-to-machine (e.g. API-based) data extraction methods, from participating organisations.
  • Identify minimum common data elements, formats and standards to aid data sharing.

The key questions that might be informed by this project include:

  • What and how much freight is moving between origin-destination pairs?
  • What routes and corridors are used to transport freight between origin-destination pairs?
  • How long does it take to move freight between specific origin-destination pairs?
  • What proportion of freight consignments are delayed?
  • Are there identifiable systematic (network-related) delays to freight consignments, and if so where?
  • Is it possible to estimate, in real-time, the ETA for a freight consignment observed at some point in time?

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