CANBERRA, Australia — When the government promised voters improved national freight data, did you experience a ripple of excitement or interest?
No? Well, rest assured, what’s planned isn’t as dull and irrelevant as it might sound.
The efficient operation of freight channels is how you get what you want as a consumer, whether it’s fresh fruit and veggies from your local store or the coronavirus vaccine you’re due to have next week.
If freight channels are efficient and safe, you’ll have what you want and need and that’s where the National Freight Data Hub comes in.
Sure it sounds dry but it will plug a large hole in the data that’s currently available to governments, to the freight industry, to retailers, and to those who plan our road networks.
“It will highlight important information about traffic volumes, congestion, road condition, and rest area usage, to improve road safety for freight operators,” says Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Michael McCormack.
The federal government is spending AU$16.5 million ($12.7 million) to develop the hub over the next four years so planners have the information they need to keep stuff moving.
The Hub is supposed to be a reliable source of freight data for business, government, and anyone looking to enhance the freight sector’s efficiency, safety, and resilience.
“Every Australian, everywhere, every day relies on a truck driver. 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,” McCormack says.
The hub’s prototype website was launched on May 30 and has a focus on congestion data.
Peter Carney, from the transport and logistics company Toll, says that information will help all users better understand where and when congestion occurs.
“This will enable road users and governments to develop strategies for managing the effects of congestion. The maps will assist drivers in planning their routes because knowing where not to drive is as important as knowing where to drive.”
Ben Newton, is the head of transport development for the Woolworths Group.
He says the challenges posed by the pandemic have demonstrated how vital it is for industry and government to work together to ensure supply chains function as well as they can.
New South Wales Ports Chief Executive Officer Marika Calfas says the hub will also ensure investments are made in the right areas.
The National Freight Data Hub is being developed in collaboration with businesses, governments, and other stakeholders by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Nikita Nikhil)
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