We developed the NSW Strategic Freight Model to inform the NSW Freight and Ports Strategy (released in December 2013) and to help establish a consistent and reliable freight data resource to improve decision making on infrastructure investments.
The model provides a strategic view of the entire NSW logistics task on road and rail networks, together with provision for expansion to other modes such as domestic sea freight and conveyors. It reflects a mix of supply chains servicing four broad markets: international import and export; interstate; regional; and metropolitan.
Applying the model to the NSW freight task
The Strategic Freight Model was used to produce forecasts of growth in the NSW freight task to 2031 (from the base year of 2011). Its key capabilities are:
- Determining freight capacity constraints by transport mode
- Providing inputs for cost benefit analysis and investment decision making
- Providing inputs for environmental modelling such as forecasting fuel use and emissions
- Providing inputs for regional planning as part of the broader NSW planning framework.
The model takes into account potential changes in commodity production and how goods are transported between more than 230 origins and destinations across NSW. It has the capability to test the future resilience of the freight network under different scenarios. Running scenarios of future growth can offer strategic insights into how efforts to optimise the network and build new capacity may impact on network performance.
Advice on commodity flows from the NSW Freight and Ports Strategy consultative industry reference groups was used to inform modelling assumptions to reality test the way the model represents current and future supply chain activity.
The Strategic Freight Model is currently being updated in preparation for a refresh of the NSW Freight and Ports Strategy in 2016-17.