Thursday 18th Aug, 2022

New freight data sharing study published

Applications are open for grants worth $4 million to fund projects that enhance traceability in the food supply chain to improve trust in Australian-grown products.

A new study has used freight data sharing trials from companies such as Woolworths, Nestle and Toll Group to identify opportunities to improve Australia’s supply chains.

Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the study will lead to improvements in getting goods to customers by improving access to real-time supply chain freight data.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever the critical importance of our freight supply chains and all those involved,” he said.

“The study provides insights for governments and industry for infrastructure planning and delivery.

“It shows how increasing digitisation can improve visibility of freight for supply chain partners to decrease unexpected delivery disruptions.”

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The study involved three parts: two pilot trials with industry operators Nestle, Woolworths, Toll and Infrabuild and a third pilot working with GS1 Australia dealing with data aggregation.

The Australian Government has committed $8.5 million to fund projects that enhance the collection of freight data across the nation and settle the design of a National Freight Data Hub.

Assistant Road Safety and Freight Transport Minister Scott Buchholz said the report could open the door to improved productivity and efficiency for the freight industry.

“The report noted sharing real-time freight data would mean our supply chain operators could respond to delays and errors quickly, which will help our truckies do their crucial job getting goods to businesses and consumers,” Buchholz said.

“We want to ensure our freight is moving efficiently across the country, getting to our doors as smoothly as possible.

“This study has given the Australian Government a deeper insight into ways we can improve our freight supply chains.”

iMOVE Managing Director Ian Christensen called on industry to take bolder steps to embrace data and increase information sharing along supply chains or risk being out-competed by overseas operators who are already reaping the efficiency benefits.

“Freight operations overseas are working vigorously to reduce ‘transactional friction’ along supply chains,” Christensen said.

“Australian businesses need to catch up and recognise the importance of sharing data to maintain the competitiveness of local supply chains.

Christensen said State and Federal governments in Australia are also focused on achieving stronger supply chain performance.

“Their interest is in making informed decisions on new infrastructure and better freight policy and to do that they need a clear view of the overall picture.

“This is best achieved by aggregating (anonymised) real operational data from the freight industry itself.”