The availability of comprehensive and reliable information on the movement of freight is increasingly seen as an important element in the effective planning for the sector, both by those providing infrastructure and those providing services. However, the main source of data on freight movements, the Ministry of Transport's National Freight Demand Study, was based on data that is now outdated. Given the substantial changes that have subsequently taken place, there is a need to consider how this might be updated. This should be undertaken in a way that as far as possible minimises the burden to data providers and is easily repeatable.
The purpose of this current study was to identify ways this updating might be achieved. In particular, it was recognised that new methods of collecting data on freight movements have developed since 2008, and the extent to which these might be used formed a part of the investigation. The study was conducted in New Zealand from 2011 to 2013.
Based on a review of the approaches used both in New Zealand and overseas, it was concluded that a hybrid approach that draws data together from a number of sources would be the most appropriate and would provide the best opportunity to update the earlier work most effectively.