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New freight data sharing study released

A new study involving freight data sharing trials with companies such as Woolworths, Nestle and Toll Group looks at opportunities to improve Australia’s supply chains.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development 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,” McCormack said, adding that the study provides insights to 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.

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

“The Australian Government has committed $8.5 million to fund projects such as these that are enhancing the collection of freight data across the nation and settle the design of a National Freight Data Hub,” said McCormack.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz added that 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 has 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 doing this to improve to efficiency.

“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.

“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.”

Christensen added that iMOVE wants to find ways for governments and businesses to work together to make this happen.

More information on the Freight Data Exchange Pilot Projects, including a copy of the Summary Report, is available by clicking here.

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