The availability of statistics released by the ABS is governed by the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA). The CSA requires that most ABS statistics are only released after they have been assessed by the ABS as not being likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. However, ABS Merchandise trade (export and import) statistics can be released under Clause 2 of the Statistics Determination 1983 of the CSA. This Clause allows statistics relating to foreign trade, being statistics derived wholly or in part from Customs documents, to be released at the Statistician's discretion except where a responsible officer of an organisation has shown that such disclosure would be likely to enable the identification of that particular organisation and requests confidentialisation.
The ABS has a long established practice of releasing Merchandise trade statistics and advises importers and exporters of this via various publically available documents. This advice allows an organisation to request that particular statistics not be released when the statistics would be likely to enable the identification of that organisation. As this is the first release of statistics on international container movements, organisations to whom the statistics relate have not had the opportunity to assess if the release will cause them any concerns. The ABS has therefore taken a conservative approach in releasing this set of experimental statistics.
The container movements dataset could potentially provide very detailed information e.g. each Australian port, cross classified by over 5,000 commodities by each country of origin by thousands of delivery postcodes. While this level of detail may be beneficial to some clients the ABS will never be able to release this detail without having to take into account the existing confidentiality restrictions on Merchandise trade statistics and any additional restrictions resulting from requests from relevant organisations. Applying the Merchandise trade confidentiality restrictions would require automated processes that do not currently exist. This is another reason the ABS has taken a conservative approach in releasing this set of experimental statistics. It is estimated that it would cost $100,000 or more to develop automated processes to apply the merchandise trade confidentiality restrictions.
Restrictions have been applied to the dataset to suppress those cells that may be likely to enable the identification of a particular organisation. Subject to feedback received from stakeholders about their statistical requirements and further analysis it is possible that further detail could be released in the future.
The statistics included in this initial release of experimental international container movements statistics for 2009-10 include:
Table 7 - Experimental Container Statistics Released
Data cube number
|Period ||Contents ||Comments |
|Month||Number of inward international container movements for Major Australian Ports||Includes number of TEUs, container counts|
|Month||Number of inward international container movements for Selected Australian Ports by Six Digit Harmonised System Number||Includes number of TEUs, container counts for five Australian ports|
|Month||Number of inward international container movements for Selected Australian Ports by Delivery Postcodes||Includes number of TEUs, container counts for Delivery Postcodes for five Australian ports|
|Year||Number of inward international container movements, five major ports, top 10 Delivery Postcodes||Includes number of TEUs for five Australian ports|