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Transport and Logistics

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Transport and Logistics sector, which is a component of the Transport industry.

The Transport and Logistics sector in Australia has an estimated annual revenue of $95.4 billion, adding $39.26 billion to the Australian economy in 2015–16. The sector employs nearly half a million people across its major sub-sectors: Road Transport, Logistics, Warehousing and Stevedoring.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required in the Transport and Logistics sector for occupations such as:

  • Driving Instructors
  • Purchasing and Supply Logistics Clerks
  • Transport and Despatch Clerks
  • Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators
  • Automobile Drivers
  • Delivery Drivers
  • Truck Drivers
  • Storepersons
  • Freight and Furniture Handlers
  • Waterside Worker (Stevedore)
  • Forklift Driver.

Nationally recognised training for Transport and Logistics sector is delivered under the TLI  Transport and Logistics Training Package.

For information on the Maritime, Aviation, and Rail sectors please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Road Freight Transport is the largest employing sub-sector in the Transport and Logistics sector followed by Road Passenger Transport, with Water Transport Support Services being the smallest.  Employment levels at the 3 digit ANZSIC levels related to the Transport and Logistics sector have all increased overall between the years 2000 and 2017; this trend is projected to continue over the next 5 years until 2022 with the exception of Water Transport Support Services.

Truck Drivers; Bus and Coach Drivers; and Automobile Drivers made up just under 60% of the Road Transport industry workforce and employment levels in each of these occupations is expected to increase over the next five years until 2022.

Automobile Drivers; and Transport and Despatch Clerks made up 18% and 8% respectively of the combined Transport Support Services (nfd); Water Transport Support Services; and Other Transport Support Services industry workforces, employment levels in both of these occupations are expected to increase over the next five years until 2022.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 73,500 program enrolments in Transport and Logistics related qualifications during 2016 and just under 19,000 completions.  Both program enrolments and completions have decreased significantly between 2014 and 2016 (by over half in the case of completions).  During 2016, 60% of enrolments were at the certificate III level with a further 21% at the certificate II level. There were also a significant number (approximately 52,500) of subject-only enrolments (no qualification) in the following unit of competency: Licence to operate a forklift truck.

A high proportion of enrolments during 2016 were in either Warehousing Operations; Logistics; or Driving Operations qualifications.  Logistics qualifications tended have an intended occupation of either Supply, Distribution and Procurement Managers; Transport and Despatch Clerks; or Purchasing and Supply Logistics Clerks.  For Warehousing Operations qualifications the main intended occupation was Storepersons, followed to a smaller degree by Purchasing and Supply Logistics Clerks.  Driving Operations qualifications had the main intended occupation of Truck Drivers followed to a smaller degree by Automobile Drivers.  For Ports qualifications the main intended occupations were Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators and to a lesser extent Freight and Furniture Handlers which includes Waterside Workers (Stevedores) at the ANZSCO 6 digit level.

For enrolments during 2016, private training providers delivered over 80% of all Transport and Logistics related qualifications.  For Warehousing Operations; and Logistics qualifications the proportion of training delivered by TAFE was higher than for the other qualification groupings.  Nearly 80% of subjects delivered by Private Training providers were government funded.  This proportion dropped to 64% for subjects delivered by TAFE with the remainder split between domestic or international fee for service arrangements.

Student location was dominated by the Eastern states with over 33% of students who enrolled during 2016 coming from Victoria, a further 28% resided in Queensland and over 20% were from New South Wales.

During 2016, there were approximately 7,300 apprenticeship commencements and just over 3,900 completions in Transport and Logistics related qualifications.  Apprenticeship commencement and completion numbers have declined by over half and threefold respectively between 2013 and 2016. As at December 2016, New South Wales reported the highest proportion of apprentices in training followed by Western Australia.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Priority skills infographic,, Infographic title: Priority skills: 2017 skills forecast,, Infographic data,,   Title: Top priority skills,, Compliance, Driving, Work health and safety (WHS), Technical, Adaptability,,  Title: Top generic skills,, Managerial/Leadership, Customer service/Marketing, Design mindset/Thinking critically/System thinking/Solving problems, Technology, Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self management,,  Infographic title: Skills and occupations in demand: job vacancies,,  Title: Top generic skills in demand,, Communication skills, Organisational skills, Planning, Problem solving, , Writing,,  Title: Top 5 occupations in demand,, Truck Drivers, Bus and Coach Drivers, Contract Program and Project Administrators, Automobile Drivers, Purchasing and Supply Logistics Clerks,,  Title: Top 5 locations,, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia,,  Title: Top employers,, Top Employers,, NSW Dept of Transport, Linfox, Asciano Limited, Kings Transport and Logistics, Toll Group,,  Infographic source, Priority skills source: Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast 2017, Job vacancy occupations in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight Real Time Labor Market Information tool.

Industry insights on skills needs

The Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast 2017 identifies the top priority skills in the Transport and Logistics sector as:

  • Compliance
  • Driving
  • Work health and safety
  • Technical
  • Adaptability.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were communication and organisational skills.  The most in demand occupation was Truck Drivers which was also reported as the number one occupation in shortage by the IRC Skills Forecast (see below).  Top locations for Transport and Logistics sector job advertisements were New South Wales and Queensland.

According to the Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast 2017 over 85% of employers in the sector reported experiencing a skills shortage during the last 12 months.  The job roles related to the skills shortages were:

  • Truck Drivers
  • Trainers/Assessors
  • Logistics Supervisors/Managers
  • Warehousing Staff
  • Forklift Drivers.

Reasons employers indicated for the shortage in order of frequency were:

  • shortage of skilled/qualified personnel
  • ageing workforce/current staff retiring
  • remuneration/employment conditions
  • Unattractive job/poor industry image
  • cost/time to achieve the required qualification.

The report Improving workforce attraction and retention rates for Australian transport and logistics companies by P Kahlert (2016) argues that unless there is an industry-wide focus and development program initiated on the attraction, retention and adequate skilling of workers in the Transport and Logistics sector there will simply not be enough people to perform the forecasted increase in freight movements.  Skilling related recommendations from the report include:

  • Attracting suitably skilled or reskilling personnel from other sectors e.g. Manufacturing or Mining.
  • Closer partnership between businesses and training providers to deliver contemporary programs to students.
  • Due to the continued uptake of technology within the sector the future workforce will require adequate digital technology skills to be able to perform their tasks.

The 2015 E-scan by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council identified the following emerging skill requirements for the transport and logistics industry based on feedback from key industry stakeholders and business surveys:

  • Road Transport
    • Fleet and supply chain management
    • Compliance and systems
    • New vehicle technology
    • Customer service skills for Delivery Drivers.
  • Logistics
    • Business management and leadership
    • Data analytic skills.
    • Skills in using new technology.

The impact of new technologies is a universal theme among industry reports and the Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast 2017.  For example, the IRC skills forecast reports that the automation of port operations is ongoing in Australia and the rapid uptake of technology is driving the need for higher order skills in the sector, as well as new skills such as those required for maintenance of automated equipment.  Similarly Road Transport is likely to be impacted by new technologies such as autonomous drone delivery and driverless trucks.  For logistics, securing identity for physical property is becoming a vital part of the supply chain as customers now expect that they can buy products online 24 hours a day, on multiple devices simultaneously.  The IRC skills forecast posits that the existing workforce will need to be equipped with the necessary digital skills and higher-level skills including problem solving and adaptability if the benefits of this technology are to be fully realised.

The above industry reports and the Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast 2017 all highlight the challenge posed for the sector by an ageing workforce.  Additionally, the IRC Skills Forecast reports the sector has difficulty attracting younger workers due to unclear career pathways and misconceptions around working in the sector, such as long hours and time spent away from home.  It is unclear as yet if new technologies involving automation of logistical tasks or drone deliveries will fill the void left by retiring workers.  As the 2015 E-scan by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council points out:  Until the impact of technological advancements becomes clearer the ability of the sector to attract, retain and upskill young workers will be critical in addressing the impact of an ageing workforce and in alleviating future skill shortages.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry employment projections to May 2022
    • 461 Road Freight Transport
    • 462 Road Passenger Transport
    • 521 Water Transport Support Services
    • 529 Other Transport Support Services
    • 530 Warehousing and Storage Services
    • 510 Postal and Courier Pick-up and Delivery Services.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2022
    • 5912 Transport and Despatch Clerks
    • 7311 Automobile Drivers
    • 7312 Bus and Coach Drivers
    • 7321 Delivery Drivers
    • 7331 Truck Drivers
    • 7411 Storepersons
    • 8911 Freight and Furniture Handlers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 – EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter.
    • 461 Road Freight Transport
    • 462 Road Passenger Transport
    • 521 Water Transport Support Services
    • 529 Other Transport Support Services
    • 530 Warehousing and Storage Services
    • 510 Postal and Courier Pick-up and Delivery Services.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit Road Transport industry, and 3 digit Transport Support Services, nfd; Water Transport Support Services; and Other Transport Support Services and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.              

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • TLI Transport and Logistics Training Package
    • TLI10115 - Certificate I in Transport and Logistics (Pathways)
    • TLI11210 - Certificate I in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI11215 - Certificate I in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI11310 - Certificate I in Logistics
    • TLI11315 - Certificate I in Logistics
    • TLI20107 - Certificate II in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI21209 - Certificate II in Driving Operations
    • TLI21210 - Certificate II in Driving Operations
    • TLI21216 - Certificate II in Driving Operations
    • TLI21411 - Certificate II in Stevedoring
    • TLI21413 - Certificate II in Stevedoring
    • TLI21416 - Certificate II in Stevedoring
    • TLI21510 - Certificate II in Furniture Removal
    • TLI21610 - Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI21616 - Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI21710 - Certificate II in Road Transport Yard Operations (Freight Handler)
    • TLI21716 - Certificate II in Road Transport Yard Operations (Freight Handler)
    • TLI21810 - Certificate II in Logistics
    • TLI21815 - Certificate II in Logistics
    • TLI22413 - Certificate II in Furniture Removal
    • TLI22416 - Certificate II in Furniture Removal
    • TLI30107 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI30207 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport)
    • TLI30907 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Mobile Cranes Operations)
    • TLI31107 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Logistics Operations)
    • TLI31209 - Certificate III in Driving Operations
    • TLI31210 - Certificate III in Driving Operations
    • TLI31216 - Certificate III in Driving Operations
    • TLI31310 - Certificate III in International Freight Forwarding (Operator)
    • TLI31316 - Certificate III in International Freight Forwarding (Operator)
    • TLI31510 - Certificate III in Stevedoring
    • TLI31610 - Certificate III in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI31616 - Certificate III in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI31710 - Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI31716 - Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI32410 - Certificate III in Logistics
    • TLI32416 - Certificate III in Logistics
    • TLI33313 - Certificate III in Furniture Removal
    • TLI33413 - Certificate III in Waste Driving Operations
    • TLI33513 - Certificate III in Stevedoring
    • TLI33516 - Certificate III in Stevedoring
    • TLI40107 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI40207 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport)
    • TLI40307 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Stevedoring)
    • TLI41107 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Logistics)
    • TLI41207 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Car Driving Instruction)
    • TLI41210 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Car Driving Instruction)
    • TLI41216 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Car Driving Instruction)
    • TLI41310 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Heavy Vehicle Driving Instruction)
    • TLI41316 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Heavy Vehicle Driving Instruction)
    • TLI41410 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Motorcycle Riding Instruction)
    • TLI41416 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Motorcycle Riding Instruction)
    • TLI41510 - Certificate IV in Materiel Logistics
    • TLI41515 - Certificate IV in Materiel Logistics
    • TLI41610 - Certificate IV in International Freight Forwarding (Senior Operator)
    • TLI41616 - Certificate IV in International Freight Forwarding (Senior Operator)
    • TLI41710 - Certificate IV in Stevedoring Operations
    • TLI41810 - Certificate IV in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI41816 - Certificate IV in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI41910 - Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI41916 - Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI42010 - Certificate IV in Logistics
    • TLI42016 - Certificate IV in Logistics
    • TLI42111 - Certificate IV in Driving Operations
    • TLI42116 - Certificate IV in Driving Operations
    • TLI42513 - Certificate IV in Traffic Operations
    • TLI50107 - Diploma of Logistics
    • TLI50210 - Diploma of Materiel Logistics
    • TLI50215 - Diploma of Materiel Logistics
    • TLI50310 - Diploma of International Freight Forwarding
    • TLI50316 - Diploma of International Freight Forwarding
    • TLI50410 - Diploma of Logistics
    • TLI50415 - Diploma of Logistics
    • TLI50813 - Diploma of Customs Broking
    • TLI50816 - Diploma of Customs Broking
    • TLI60110 - Advanced Diploma of Materiel Logistics
    • TLI60210 - Advanced Diploma of Deployment Logistics
    • TLI60215 - Advanced Diploma of Deployment Logistics
    • TLIPC110 - Certificate I in Transport and Logistics (Pathways).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year.  Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period.  For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted.  Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training.  Location data uses student residence.  Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject.  For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.  This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

TLI Transport and Logistics apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2016 commencements
  • 2010 to 2016 completions 
  • 2016 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2016 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Transport and Logistics Industry Reference Committee’s 2017 Skills Forecast.

Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight – real-time labor market information tool <http://www.burning-glass.com> 2017.

  • Job advertisements from all of Australia from January 2014 to August 2017 are included in the analysis.  Data shown is the top five advertised VET-related occupations (1–6 digit level Technicians and Trades Workers, Labourers, Clerical and Administrative Workers, and Machinery Operators and Drivers) in ANZSIC Transport Support Services (52) excluding Airport Operations and Other Air Transport Support Services (5220), Warehousing and Storage Services (53), Road Transport (46) and the top five locations and employers according to job advertisements.
  • Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass labour insights job vacancy data tool. Data shown is the proportion of job advertisements which request generic skills for VET-related occupations in the industry and occupations listed above.
Updated: 05 Oct 2018
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