Lead agencies


Enduring question 5.2a

How and when does freight move to, from and around Australia, and by what routes?

Enduring question 5.3a

What barriers exist to efficiently transporting freight to, from and around Australia?

Gap addressed

Providing more timely and more detailed information about road freight and road freight vehicle movements, more cost effectively.


The high cost and significant lag time of collecting freight-related data by traditional surveys means that detailed data on road freight movements in Australia is scarce, not sufficiently timely and not available at a detailed geographic level to reliably inform infrastructure planning. This lack of sufficient data to inform decision making increases

the risk of governments either underinvesting, or investing in the wrong places. There is also limited data on congestion that impacts freight flows, which is of particular interest to the public, industry and government.

In 2016, BITRE and ABS, in cooperation with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Australian Logistics Council (ALC), freight industry operators and other government agencies, completed a pilot study to test the feasibility and utility of deriving road freight related statistics from road freight vehicle telematics data (see example output below). The pilot study developed experimental indicators for:

  • Freight-significant congested network locations
  • Average freight vehicle travel speed
  • Freight vehicle route choices
  • Freight vehicle origin-destination trip movements
  • Freight vehicle stop locations and durations.

Since early 2017, BITRE and the ABS have been liaising with the freight industry, government agencies, vehicle telematics service providers and other freight industry stakeholders to develop and commence an ongoing freight telematics data collection.


Develop an enduring road freight telematics data collection and road freight telematics- based statistical outputs.

Planned outputs include:

  • Identifying freight-significant congested network locations
  • Reporting average freight vehicle travel speeds and travel times for key freight routes
  • Identify major freight vehicle routes for key origin-destination pairs
  • Estimates of reported freight vehicle origin-destination trip movements
  • Freight vehicle stop locations and durations
  • Up-to-date indicators of road freight industry activity.

Project update

BITRE has now commenced collecting road freight telematics based vehicle movement data, sourced from a small number of freight service providers, and over the course of 2018 is looking to expand this collection to include 20–30 of the largest road freight operators.

Related publication

  • BITRE is aiming to develop some first statistical outputs by end 2018.

The figure (below) is based on the GPS sample dataset from the road freight telematics pilot study and shows average truck speeds across roads in the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Area, during the sample period (May 2016). Red sections represent slow average speeds.


average truck speeds across roads in the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Area

The video below also shows out puts from the road freight telematics pilot study