Optimising transport choice for plantation harvests

Australia's total commercial plantation area was around 1,974,770 hectares in 2015-16 (ABARES 2017). Hardwood plantation logs harvested for the financial year 2015-16 indicate a record high 9.7 million m3 of log volume worth about $706 million (ABARES 2017). Softwood plantation logs harvested for the financial year 2016-17 also indicate a record high of 17.3 million m3 of log volume worth about $1,341 million (ABARES 2017).

Quality transport infrastructure is essential for efficiently moving these logs from plantations to mills for processing or ports for export.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources engaged CSIRO in 2016 to expand its Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TraNSIT) to include networks across Australia for transporting production from plantation forests.

TraNSIT’s most important value is in the opportunities it provides for optimising transport routes across supply chains and informing future investment in transport infrastructure.

TraNSIT was first developed to analyse transport and logistics options for the livestock sector in northern Australia. Under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, it was expanded to include the movement of most bulk agriculture commodities nation‑wide, see TraNSIT.

CSIRO completed the project to add plantation forest transport networks to TraNSIT in 2017, and its report is available below.

Potential users can have modelling undertaken by CSIRO through contacting Andrew Higgins, CSIRO Land & Water, by email at Andrew Higgins.

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TraNSIT: Modelling the supply chain of Australia’s plantation forestry DOCX 348.06 MB
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