75% freight goes by truck

Seventy-five per cent of Australia’s domestic freight is carried by the trucking industry, according

to a new report from the Australian Logistics Council.

ATA CEO Stuart St Clair says the report reveals the importance of the trucking industry in

meeting Australia’s freight challenge.

“The report shows the trucking industry carried 2,148 million tonnes of freight in 2004-05,” he says.

“It was 75 per cent of the 2,866 million tonnes of domestic freight that was carried in Australia.”

“The rail system handled only 664 million tonnes, or 23 per cent of the total, with the remainder

carried by air and sea.”

“The ATA will be emphasising these figures in our discussions with the Government and the

bureaucracy, because they confirm that road transport is central to Australia’s ability to move

freight around the country,” St Clair adds.

“All too often, discussions about freight transport are entirely focused on measures of the freight

task: the tonnage carried by each mode multiplied by the distance travelled.”

“Road transport accounted for 37.5 per cent of Australia’s freight task in 2004-05, with rail

accounting for 35.9 per cent and sea transport accounting for 22.1 per cent,” he says.

“The total tonnage figures in the ALC report show these freight task figures understate the

importance of the trucking industry’s contribution, because of the vast number of short journeys

we undertake.”

“The trucking industry carries 75 per cent of Australia’s freight because we’re the people who

can deliver a container from the front door of a business in Sydney to a business in Melbourne


“We’re the people who can carry livestock or freight to remote communities. And we’re the people who can deliver bread to a suburban supermarket or a load of mail to the local post office,” St Clair says.

The report, The Contribution of Transport and Logistics to the Economy: Dispelling the Myths,

can be downloaded from .

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