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Method of transport
Methods by which freight was carried were classified as solid bulk, liquid bulk, containerised and other. Refer to the Glossary for more detail.
Almost two thirds (63%) of the total tonne-kilometres travelled in Australia (201,591 million) was classified as solid bulk freight, with a further 9% (27,931 million) classified as liquid bulk freight. Of the remainder, 8% was classified as containerised and 20% as other (graph S2). Similarly, of the total tonnes moved in Australia, the most common form of freight was solid bulk (68% of total tonnes).
Solid bulk constituted 82% of the total tonne-kilometres (109,309 million) travelled by rail freight and 76% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled by sea freight.
In contrast, 62% of all tonne-kilometres travelled on road, and all freight on the air network was reported as being moved in ways other than in bulk or in containerised form.
STATE/TERRITORY OF ORIGIN
Of the total tonne-kilometres travelled in Australia, 33% (105,446 million) originated in Western Australia (WA) (graph S3). Factors contributing to this high percentage were movements of heavy commodities, such as iron ore from WA mine sites, and long trip distances.
Freight originating in Queensland (Qld) accounted for 29% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled (93,416 million). This was due mainly to large shipments of commodities, such as coal and livestock, over long distances from the central and western areas of the state.
More than three quarters (79%) of the total tonnes moved originated from Qld, WA and New South Wales (NSW) combined. Whilst there was a reasonably even distribution of tonnes moved from these three states, tonne-kilometres travelled varied, with freight originating from NSW representing only 17% (52,943 million) of the total tonne-kilometres travelled. The large number of short trips made in NSW accounted for the lower tonne-kilometres travelled in that state.
Mode of transport
Freight originating in NSW accounted for 30% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled by road (26,440 million) (graph S4). Rail and sea freight originating in WA represented 45% and 35%, respectively, of the total tonne-kilometres travelled by those modes.
For air, freight originating in NSW and Victoria (Vic.) combined, accounted for over half of all tonne-kilometres travelled on the air network.
Of the total tonne-kilometres travelled, 59% (187,978 million) were for movements where the origin and the destination of the freight was within the same state/territory (i.e. intrastate). For all states and territories except NSW, Qld and WA, less than one third of the tonne-kilometres travelled were for intrastate movements (graph S5).
In contrast to total tonne-kilometres travelled, 92% of total tonnes carried were intrastate. In all states and territories, except the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), at least 79% of movements were within the same state or territory. Due principally to its location within NSW and its size, only 50% of ACT movements were intrastate.
A high proportion (86%) of tonne-kilometres travelled on the rail network were for the movement of freight intrastate. Nearly all (98%) of the total tonnage of rail freight moved was for intrastate movements (graph S6). The movement of bulk commodities (e.g. coal) from the location of the resources to seaports or processing centres was a factor contributing to the high percentages of intrastate rail freight movements.
Similar to rail, a high percentage (92%) of the total tonnes moved by road was within the same state/territory. However, in contrast to rail, only 52% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled by road was for freight that was moved intrastate.
A minority of freight movements by sea were intrastate in nature (28% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled and 36% of the total tonnes carried).
Only 6% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled and 10% of the total tonnes carried on the air network were for the movement of freight intrastate.
Of the total tonne-kilometres travelled, 132,129 million (41%) were for interstate freight movements. For each state and territory (except NSW, Qld and WA), more than two thirds of the total tonne-kilometres travelled were for freight moving interstate (graph S7).
For each state and territory of origin (except the ACT), less than one quarter of total tonnes carried were for interstate freight movements.
Due to the nature of sea and air transport, the percentages of interstate tonne-kilometres travelled by air (94%) and sea (72%) were much higher than those travelled by rail and road (graph S8).
STATE/TERRITORY OF DESTINATION
Of the total tonne-kilometres travelled, more than three quarters (80%) were for freight destined for Qld, NSW or WA. Likewise, the same three states were the destination for 79% of the total tonnes moved.
The high percentages of the total tonne-kilometres travelled by road in the eastern states reflected the heavy use of the road network on Australia's eastern seaboard. Freight destined for NSW accounted for 29% of the total tonne-kilometres by road, Qld 22% and Vic. 21% (graph S9).
Nearly half (47%) of all tonne-kilometres travelled on the rail freight network was for freight destined for WA. Also, rail freight destined for WA accounted for more than three quarters (79%) of the total tonne-kilometres travelled by all modes, for that state.
Percentages of the total tonne-kilometres travelled over the sea network were high for freight transported to ports located within NSW (38%, or 36,912 million tonne-kilometres) and Qld (33%). Sea freight destined for Tasmania (Tas.) accounted for over three quarters (78%) of all tonne-kilometres for freight moved to that state.
As a destination for freight, WA accounted for 25% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled by air. Due to the long trip distances involved, however, WA accounted for only 11% of the total tonnes carried by air. The highest percentages of total tonnes carried by air were for freight destined for NSW and Qld (24% each), and Vic. (22%).
CAPITAL CITY/REST OF STATE MOVEMENTS
All states and territories, except Vic. and the ACT, recorded higher tonne-kilometres travelled for freight originating in non-capital city areas than for freight originating in capital city areas. This was most evident in WA (87% of total tonne-kilometres) and Qld (83%), where large tonnages of bulk commodities originated in the non-capital city areas (graph S10).
Total tonne-kilometres travelled by road were evenly shared between freight originating in capital city areas and freight originating in non-capital city areas (graph S11). For rail, however, the greater majority of tonne-kilometres travelled (86%) were for freight originating from Australia's non-capital city areas.
Because of the location of Australia's major airports, freight originating in the capital city areas accounted for nearly all tonne-kilometres travelled by air.
For freight originating in the non-capital city areas of WA and Qld, over 85% of the tonne-kilometres travelled were by rail and sea. Of the tonne-kilometres travelled for freight originating in the non-capital city areas of NSW, 46% were by rail and 39% by road.
Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (118,959 million tonne-kilometres and 256 million tonnes) and coal (48,562 million tonne-kilometres and 273 million tonnes) were the two major commodities moved in Australia.
Mode of transport
Road freight accounted for the highest percentage of tonne-kilometres travelled for most commodities. The major exceptions were coal, where 91% of the tonne-kilometres were by rail, and petroleum and petroleum products where 74% of the tonne-kilometres were by sea.
The two major commodities moved by air were general freight, at 165 million tonne-kilometres (60% of the total) and other commodities n.e.s., at 66 million tonne-kilometres (24% of the total) (table S12).
For tonnes carried, the majority of commodities were moved primarily by road, with the percentage of total tonnage for each commodity moved by road exceeding 90% in a number of cases. The exceptions were some of the individual commodities most commonly moved in bulk, such as coal and metalliferous ores and metal scrap. For these commodities, rail was the primary mode of transport.
S12 MAJOR COMMODITIES CARRIED
Method of Transport
Overall, most tonne-kilometres travelled and most tonnes carried, were for freight in solid bulk form. The commodity comprising the highest percentage of tonne-kilometres travelled in solid bulk form was metalliferous ores and metal scrap, at 59% of the total.
Commodities such as food, cork and wood, sand, stone and gravel and machinery and transport equipment were predominantly moved by road, principally by a method other than in bulk or containerised.
Dangerous and/or Refrigerated commodities
Freight was also classified, where relevant, as refrigerated and/or dangerous. Refer to the Glossary for more detail.
During the survey period, refrigerated commodities accounted for 3% of total tonnes moved and 4% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled. Food comprised 93% of the total refrigerated tonne-kilometres travelled.
Commodities classified as dangerous accounted for 4% of total tonnes moved and 8% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled. Petroleum and petroleum products comprised nearly three quarters of all dangerous goods carried.
1 TONNES CARRIED AND TONNE-KILOMETRES TRAVELLED, ALL MODES(a)(b)
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