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Tasmanian Freight Survey

The Tasmanian Freight Survey is undertaken by the Infrastructure Strategy Division of the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) to inform planning for Tasmania's future freight transport system.  The 2008-09 Survey is the third time that the survey has been conducted, with the first in 2002-03 and the second in 2005-06.

What is the aim of the survey?

To provide reliable and robust data about Tasmania's heavy freight land transport task to support description, analysis and modelling of the land transport freight task for policy development and planning purposes.

What does the survey cover?

The survey collects information about commodities moved by heavy vehicles and rail for Tasmania's major companies. In 2008-09, over 100 companies participated in the survey, providing a summary of large freight movements across the major parts of Tasmania's land transport network.

The Survey includes information on:

  • the location of freight trips, including:
  • movements between and through major sea and air ports
  • between industrial areas and across network segments (road and rail)
  • freight tonnage
  • freight value
  • commodity type, and 
  • mode and vehicle type

How is the information from the survey used?

Data from the Survey is used for a number of different purposes, including:


  • The 2008-09 Tasmanian Freight Survey recorded nearly 28 Million tonnes of freight movements across Tasmania, accounting for nearly 2.5 billion tonne kilometres of freight movement.

  • In terms of tonne kilometres travelled, 87.5% of the statewide freight task was carried on the road network.  Rail is also an important part of the state's freight system, carrying 12.5% of the total task (in terms of tonne kilometres travelled).

  • The three northern ports (Burnie, Devonport and Bell Bay) account for around 80% of Tasmania's import and export freight tasks, with the Port of Hobart moving significantly lower volumes of freight than the three northern ports.

  • Around 75% of Tasmania's freight task (by tonnage) moves within one of Tasmania's three key regions.  The north west region has the largest intra-regional freight task (8.4 million tonnes), followed by the northern region (7.2 million tonnes) and then southern Tasmania (5.5million tonnes).

  • The Key freight generating industries were forestry (9.3 million tonnes), construction materials (5.4 million tonnes) and agriculture (4.7 million tonnes).