12 Trucking and Transportation Industry Statistics in Australia

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The transportation sector is expanding in value in Australia many thanks to strengthening infrastructure and enhanced demand from customers. The logistics market¹ presently exceeds $eighty one billion, and the anticipated expansion need to drive it to above $114 billion by 2027.

Much is shifting in Australia’s transport markets, and far more demands to adjust. It is not all sleek sailing for the market or its personnel, and altering worldwide and domestic struggles emphasize the need to evolve. Let’s evaluation some of the highs, lows, and implications for the future with these twelve trucking and transportation industry figures in Australia.

12 Trucking and Transportation Industry Statistics in Australia

  1. Australia transported over 800 billion ton-kilometers of goods in 2020.
  2. Nearly 93% of railroad-transported goods are bulk freight, and 61% of road freight consists of non-bulk goods.
  3. Road freight transport generates $65.3 billion in revenue.
  4. There are 47,162 road freight transport companies in Australia.
  5. Australia is home to roughly 200,000 truck drivers.
  6. The transport and logistics industry is expected to exceed 600,000 employees by 2026.
  7. The average transportation worker is 45 years old.
  8. Truck drivers are more likely to be obese than average Australians.
  9. Women make up only 16% of the trucking workforce.
  10. Freight vehicles make up over 20% of vehicles on Australian roads.
  11. Freight-carrying vehicles burned 12,479 megaliters of diesel in 2020.
  12. Over one-third of emissions from the transport industry come from road freight.

Transportation Industry Overview

1. Australia transported over 800 billion ton-kilometers of goods in 2020.

(Bureau of Infrastructure and Transportation Study Economics)

The Australian domestic freight activity is growing, as it has for the very last 40 many years. In between rail, road, and coastal shipments, the transportation sector moved 800.4 billion ton-kilometers of goods in 2020, a 2.4% improve from the prior calendar year. The only spot that took a step again was air freight, however its .3% contribution does tiny to influence the standard figures.

Railroads, streets, and even coastal paths noticed equivalent use for transporting products right up until the late nineties when rail and, to a lesser extent, highway transportation took off. Rail accounts for 453.1 billion tkm of transported merchandise, followed by road transportation with 235.four billion tkm.

truck on the road
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Nearly 93% of railroad-transported goods are bulk freight, and 61% of road freight consists of non-bulk goods.

(Nationwide Freight and Offer Chain Approach)

The finest driver of the railroad industry’s explosion is Australia’s export market place. Bulk freight makes up 92.eight% of the transported items on rail strains. Over 50 % of the freight is iron ore, the country’s principal export, even though coal constitutes in excess of a third.

Unsurprisingly, West Australia manages most of the rail transportation, working one hundred seventy.9 billion tkm of freight in 2020, practically a few moments that of the up coming-busiest point out, Queensland (sixty.07 billion tkm).

With the proximity to significant ports, mined assets protect a significantly smaller transported length than many other goods in Australia. The extracted iron ore from the Pilbara area in Western Australia will come mostly from inland cities about Port Hedland, the country’s premier port and the world’s premier bulk export port by tonnage.

Street transportation principles non-bulk freight, the variety of items required in commercial areas on the eastern side of Australia. There were 141.five billion tkm of items moved by means of highway transport, accounting for sixty one% of items moved in trucks. Although rail has the optimum total figures, street transportation moves more than four times far more non-bulk freight than rail strains.

3. Trucking transport generates $65.3 billion in revenue.

(IBIS World)

Street freight solutions may possibly have “only” moved about 235.four billion tkm really worth of items in 2020, but they confirmed the greatest leap of any transportation sector, a five.6% improve from 2019. And despite moving much less than rail, its benefit of $65.three billion is the maximum of any transportation sector.

Increases in road freight have been sound because the nineteen seventies. Although rail’s meteoric increase has slowed to a snail’s tempo in modern several years, street freight shows constant enhancements.

Even as the transport industry’s gross benefit added (GVA) dropped nearly $7 billion from the yr before, highway freight ended the 2020–2021 FY with an enhance of in excess of $two billion. Its $28.8 billion GVA accounted for far more than 37% of the total transport industry’s total contribution.

trucks parked
Image Credit: Pixabay

Trucking Industry Statistics

4. There are 47,162 road freight transport companies in Australia.

(IBIS World)

Subsequent a dip in quantities in 2013, highway freight transport organizations are rapidly becoming far more ample in Australia. There are 47,162 organizations in procedure currently, a 1.five% boost from the prior yr. It is a slight decrease from the 2.four% annual progress the business has witnessed from 2017 to 2022. But overall, the addition of in excess of 7,five hundred new organizations given that 2013 is an amazing mark.

5. Australia is home to roughly 200,000 truck drivers.

(Labour Industry Insights)

There are 199,900 truck motorists in Australia, accounting for around one-third of the 574,080 staff in the transportation and logistics industry. About 69% of people motorists perform common weighty truck driving for transporting bulky products, even though the up coming greatest section is composed of home furniture transporters.

truck drivers
Image Credit: u_be6c94jrut, Pixabay

6. The road freight transport industry is expected to exceed 600,000 employees by 2026.

(Australian Industry Standards)

As business expands and the need for trucking in Australia will increase, the market anticipates a workforce of 600,648 personnel in 2026, a 4.six% enhance from 2021. Sadly, interest is waning, and the country faces a mounting driver scarcity.

Training enrollments dropped by nearly a single-third from 2016 to 2020, although completions diminished by above fifty%. With the common age of truck drivers pushing 50, it is difficult to make up for older people leaving the workforce.

Australian governments are implementing new training and security packages to bring in new workers, but several younger folks do not favor the prospect of prolonged hours and probably poor perform environments.

Transportation Worker Profile

7. The average transportation worker is 45 years old.

(Australian Industry and Capabilities Committee)

Transportation and logistics employees are an older crowd. The industry’s typical personnel age is forty five.six a long time, properly above the Australian worker’s typical age of forty several years aged.

Truck drivers are even older. The regular driver age throughout the transportation business is forty seven many years aged, with the typical freight truck driver’s age currently being 48 a long time. The youngest truck drivers are furnishings movers at 34 a long time old. On the other aspect of the spectrum are tanker motorists, who pull the complete market age up with their typical age of 50 years!

Workers unloading boxes from a moving truck
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

8. Over 50% of Australian truck drivers are obese.

(Monash University)

Truck motorists are not just older than the regular Australian they’re far more most likely to be out of form also. A 2020 trucker study found that 54.3% ended up overweight, a significantly cry from the nation’s 32.five% typical, with most of the overweight drivers getting extended-haul truckers. More than a 3rd of truck drivers experienced back again troubles, and twenty five.eight% reported having high blood strain.

The mother nature of trucking does not encourage healthful consuming or exercising. Australian truckers commit up to twelve several hours on the street, restricting their actual physical exercise, and have constrained obtain to wholesome foodstuff choices at truck stops.

9. Women make up only 17.6% of the road transport workforce.


It might not be astonishing that only 3% of truck motorists are woman, but girls are normally underrepresented across the whole highway freight market. In 2020, girls only created up seventeen.six% of the workforce, the cheapest share of any transport sector variety.

Air and space transport has the greatest proportion of girls at 32.three%, but the railroad business exhibits the healthiest upswing in inclusion. Ladies only accounted for ten.7% of the rail transportation business in 2000 and now make up nearly 1-quarter of the workforce.

flight attendant checking passengers
Image credit; MNBB Studio, Shutterstock

Trucking and Transport Impact

10. Freight vehicles make up 20% of vehicles on Australian roads.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Freight cars take up approximately 1-fifth of the road in Australia. Around 3.4 million mild professional automobiles accounted for 84.5% of transport cars in 2020, whilst only two.6% had been articulated vehicles. But talking to their performance, articulate trucks nonetheless have above 77% of all highway freight!

11. Freight-carrying vehicles burned 12,479 megaliters of diesel in 2020.


The extensive majority of rigid and articulated vans nonetheless rely on diesel. About 99.8% of these hefty-obligation cars utilized practically 7,five hundred megaliters of diesel fuel in 2020. Overall, freight-carrying autos burned by means of 12,479 megaliters.

Articulated automobiles only just take up a little fraction of the autos on the street, but their diesel usage has helped press the relative use to equivalent gasoline utilization in Australia. The standard articulated vehicle consumes fifty three.one liters per a hundred kilometers and travels seventy eight,three hundred kilometers. By contrast, mild commercial autos only use twelve.eight liters of gas per one hundred kilometers although averaging 15,three hundred kilometers.

trucks travelling on the road
Image Credit: s_oleg, Shutterstock

12. Over one-third of emissions from the transport industry come from road freight.

(Electric powered Car Council)

Even though the number of vehicles on the road is lower, the environmental effect of articulated transportation vans is tough to understate. Articulated vehicles release twelve.eighty three% of the CO2 from all road autos even with accounting for only .five% of the overall cars in Australia.

Hefty automobiles eat nearly a quarter of the gas in all autos on the road. Presented their greater emissions, they contribute 38% of the total emissions in the transportation sector. Growing older and relatively inefficient vans and a press for sophisticated infrastructure are leading many to advocate for the adoption of electrical fleets.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Trucking and Transportation Industry in Australia

What Are Road Trains?

Australia’s prolonged desolate expanse from its industrious western aspect to its commercial hubs in the east need and allow for some distinctive transport choices. As opposed to the solitary semis in The united states, Australia’s premier trucks consist of a prime mover pulling up to a few semi-trailers.

A highway prepare can lengthen up to 53.5 meters prolonged, however private mining company highway trains typically really don't have to adhere to authorities-set limits. The planet document for longest road teach was 1,474.3 meters long and had 113 trailers behind the key mover. It established the report by driving one hundred fifty meters at a unique exhibition.

(Guinness Globe Data)

Where Does Most Trucking Activity Take Place?

Most of Australia’s trucking movement takes location in the jap states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. Nearly 34% of the 230 billion tkm that moves by way of the nation takes place in New South Wales. Victoria and Queensland both attribute just below twenty% of the country’s total transported items.


Image Credit: Pixabay

What Is a Typical Truck Driver Income in Australia?

The median weekly wage for truck motorists in Australia is $one,663, surpassing the national median of $one,593. The greater pay out doesn’t automatically mean a greater for each-hour charge. Truck drivers also log much more hours, with 85% putting in entire-time hrs, in comparison to the sixty six% typical for all jobs.

(Labour Market place Insights)


The trucking and transportation sector in Australia is developing, even if those involved aren’t completely ready for it. The financial system will spur a thrust for much more transport to maintain up with desire. Govt and industry leaders are performing their part to simplicity the burden and put together for the foreseeable future. But with an ongoing labor shortage and a increasing onus to check out substitute power sources, there are a lot of folks still left to please.


Showcased Picture Credit score: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay