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Department of
State Growth


Tasmanian Freight Survey

2014-15 Survey

The Tasmanian Freight Survey (the Survey) is a regular survey of heavy freight movements across Tasmania, undertaken by the Department of State Growth. The results of the Survey are used to inform planning for Tasmania’s future freight transport system.  The 2014-15 Survey  is the fifth time that the survey has been conducted, with previous surveys held in 2002-03, 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2011-12.

Data collected in the Survey is primarily gathered through interviews with Tasmanian businesses across a range of industries in Tasmania including, agriculture, construction inputs, consumer goods, forestry, and mining. The Survey collects information on -

  • Origin and destination;  
  • Commodity mass and type;  
  • Frequency of trips; and  
  • Transport mode and vehicle type.  

The Survey provides important information on the operation of Tasmania’s freight system, and is a key input to strategic freight planning. The Department uses the Survey for a range of planning purposes, including -

  • The Tasmanian Integrated Freight Strategy and Burnie to Hobart Freight Corridor Strategy (under development).  
  • Individual infrastructure projects and funding submissions.  
  • Strategic frameworks, including the State Road Hierarchy and regional integrated transport plans.  
  • Analysis and forecasting of the potential impacts of freight-related developments on the freight network.  

The Tasmanian Freight Survey Data Summary Report 2014-15 (PDF)

Key Findings

The key findings from the 2014-15 Freight Survey include:

  • In 2014-15, Tasmania’s total estimated freight task was 23.7 million tonnes.  
  • 21.0 million tonnes (89%) of freight were transported on the road network, with 2.7 million tonnes (11%) transported on rail.  
  • Of Tasmania’s publically owned ports, Burnie Port had the highest throughput (4.3 million tonnes), followed by Devonport (3.6 million tonnes), Bell Bay (3.2 million tonnes) and Hobart (1.5 million tonnes).  
  • The majority of freight in Tasmania is moved intra-regionally at 18.3 million tonnes, or 77%, compared to an inter-regional task of 5.4 million tonnes or 23%.  
  • The north-west is Tasmania’s largest freight producing region, with 10.5 million tonnes of freight originating in the region, compared to 7.6 million tonnes in the north and 5.6 million tonnes in the south.  
  • Construction inputs accounted for the largest freight task by volume (5.6 million tonnes, or 24%), followed by forestry (5.3 million tonnes, or 22%) and agriculture (4.9 million tonnes, or 21%).  

A comparison of changes in major freight generating industries between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 is presented below:

Figure 1: Comparison of 2014-15 and 2011-12 Major Freight Generating Industries

Previous Report

Tasmanian Freight Survey Report 2011-12 (PDF)