NEW data is now available on the federal government’s Supply Chain Benchmarking Dashboard.

The government said this new data would help freight operators and the businesses they support to improve their operations and save on costs.

CSIRO developed the dashboard and launched it in October last year. The platform enables industry to compare supply-chain performance over road and rail across different locations.

An further 12 commodities are now available, including cement, asphalt, bitumen and molasses, giving industry insight into the supply chains of 150 commodities to help them compare performance by:

  • freight task costs and value, including cost per payload tonne or kilometre;
  • travel distances and durations; and
  • geographic areas, including states and local government areas.

Deputy Prime Minister and minister for infrastructure and transport Barnaby Joyce said the more informed freight operators are, the better they perform and the more they save.

“Australia’s freight sector has done exceptionally well to keep supplies flowing in challenging circumstances throughout the pandemic,” he said.

“As the sector returns to normal, the Supply Chain Benchmarking Dashboard will help freight operators to improve their operations, save on costs and grow on the other side of the pandemic.”

Mr Joyce said this new data would help more businesses to be more productive, competitive and resilient, driving improved performance across the sector.

“Robust supply chains keep our economy strong, supermarket shelves stocked, products moving to international markets and people in jobs, which is why we are providing the data the sector needs,” he said.

Assistant minister for road safety and freight transport Scott Buchholz said the dashboard forms part of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, the Australian Government’s nationwide plan to ratchet up action and ambition from all levels of governments and industry to lift freight performance.

“Better freight location and performance data and improved supply chain efficiency are two key target areas under the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” Mr Buchholz said.

“That’s why our government is investing $16.5 million over four years to create a Freight Data Hub and provide freely available resources such as this Supply Chain Benchmarking Dashboard.

“The dashboard builds on other initiatives such as the recently launched National Location Registry, which is also helping businesses get Aussie produce from gate to plate more efficiently.

“With the current unique challenges of COVID-19, and our national freight volumes projected to continue to grow by over 35% by 2040, we know rail and road supply chain staff have been working hard to keep delivering for Australians.

“We will continue to act and deliver initiatives that make this task easier, quicker, cheaper and safer.”

CSIRO senior principal research scientist Dr Andrew Higgins said this update builds on the Australian government and CSIRO’s continuous investment in modelling Australia’s supply chains.

“The dashboard is being continually improved to better meet the needs of our freight and supply chain industry,” Dr Higgins said.

“I would like to thank the 400-plus industries and businesses across Australia who supported this effort with data or expertise.”