Australia’s freight task forecast to increase by 26 per cent over the next decade

Published: 08 Sep 2016

Australia’s transport sector has recovered after the impact of the Global Financial Crisis with the nation’s freight task likely to grow by 26 per cent over the next decade according to new a research report published today by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said the Who Moves What Where report provided useful information to governments and industry about the nature of Australia’s freight and passenger movements, and would help those involved in infrastructure, planning and investment, operational improvements and regulatory changes.

“This data has been compiled from more than 150 different sources and for the first time provides an overview of what kinds of freight and passenger movements are likely to occur between now and 2026,” Mr Retter said.

“This is the most comprehensive analysis of Australia’s freight and passenger transport since the NTC’s Twice the Task report was released 10 years ago.

“The Global Financial Crisis slowed the growth of freight and passenger transport movements but now that our economy is growing faster, we are back on an upward trajectory.”

The report forecasts that over the next decade:

  • Domestic freight will increase by 26 per cent (down from 50 per cent during the previous 10 years), and 
  • Domestic passenger movements will increase by 19 per cent (up from 8 per cent during the previous 10 years).

The report also includes localised data, providing useful state and territory transport forecasts and analysis of related challenges.

Mr Retter said the project was a good example of the higher-level strategic work the NTC was encouraged to focus on as part of the 2015 review into the NTC.

“The next decade will be a crucial time for Australia’s transport sector. Not only are we set to experience significant growth in transport movements but we are likely to also see the biggest technological transformation of the way we move people and freight since the car replaced horses,” Mr Retter said.

Mr Retter said there were some areas where reports of this nature could be improved in the future. The NTC will be releasing a discussion paper in early 2017 with more details how to address these information gaps.