9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 12 months ended 30 June 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/03/2017   
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22 March 2017
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Articulated trucks carry bulk of load on Aussie roads

The national domestic road freight task was estimated at 204,575 million tonne-kilometres (tkm) for 2015-16, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is equivalent to a B-double truck travelling more than 4,250 return trips to the moon.

"Vehicles registered in Victoria had the largest road freight task at 54,306 million tkms," said Amanda Clark from ABS Transport Statistics. "This was followed by Queensland with 47,468 million tkms, New South Wales (45,225 million tkm), Western Australia (33,153 million tkm), South Australia (17,108 million tkm), Northern Territory (3,427 million tkm), Tasmania (3,376 million tkm) and Australian Capital Territory (511 million tkm)."

"More than 75 per cent of freight transport was undertaken by articulated trucks, although these make up less than 5 per cent of the number of registered freight vehicles," she said.

Some 30 per cent of total tonnes moved around Australia were crude materials, 14 per cent were food and live animals and 12 per cent were manufactured goods.

"These figures help inform the Australian Government's National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy," said Ms Clark. "This strategy aims to improve the safety and productivity of the freight task in Australia."

Information is also available on passenger vehicle use. In 2015-16 Australian passenger vehicles travelled a total of 175,899 million kilometres, an average of 12,827 kilometres per vehicle. At an average speed of 60 kilometres per hour, that's a staggering 8.9 days behind the wheel.

More details are available in Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 2016 (cat. no 9208.0) available for free download from the ABS website: https://www.abs.gov.au/

Media notes:

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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  • Tonne-kilometres is a measure of freight carried over distance travelled. For this release it refers to the freight moved around Australia's road network.