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Explanatory notes

Sources

Coastal freight figures have been derived from data supplied by port authorities for BITRE’s

annual coastal freight survey. Tonne-kilometre figures are calculated by applying port-to-port

distances 6 (including pilotage) to total tonnages loaded or unloaded for each port pair. Where

optional routes within Australia could reasonably be used, the shorter distance has been used.

The vessel movement information used to report port activity is data obtained from Lloyd’s

Marine Intelligence Unit. This data is also used to compile the Australian trading fleet, in addition

to information supplied by shipping companies, and assumptions made by BITRE based on

industry knowledge.

International freight data was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is based on

data collected by the Australian Customs Service.

Data on the use of coasting trade permits is extracted from the system used to manage the

application for and granting of permits, which is maintained by the Department of Infrastructure,

Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

Statistical issues

The scope and methodology used in the collation of international freight data (ABS 2010) has

been revised. From 2008–09, data on the previous scope are no longer available. The major

changes between the previous and revised data are:

• The addition of data previously excluded (primarily exports to Ship and aircraft stores).

• The extension of the period during which data for a particular quarter is collected—data

is declared final 6 months after the end of the quarter rather than 5 months.

• The change from the ATFCC to SITC system for the classification of commodities.

• The removal of vessel information such as service type (liner/non-liner) and vessel flag.

The first two of these changes result in data being included in the collection that was previously

out of scope, and mean that figures obtained from data collected using the new scope and

methodology are not comparable to previous figures (although they are similar, as shown in

Table 1.1). The change in commodity classification creates further problems when comparing

data from before and after the change, as an exact concordance between ATFCC and SITC

(or vice versa) is not possible. The lack of service type information prevents the publication of

figures by service type (Tables 2.6 and 2.7).

6 Australian Chamber of Shipping 1993.

• 43 •

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