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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 $102.87 billion, with an operating profit of $10.14 billion in 2018. The sector employs more than 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 the Transport and Logistics sector is delivered under the TLI - Transport and Logistics Training Package.

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

Information sourced from the Transport and Logistics IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast and the Transport and Logistics IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and skills forecasts

IRCs now submit comprehensive Skills Forecasts to the AISC every 3 years, with abridged annual updates submitted in the intervening 2 years.

Transport and Logistics IRC

Employment trends

Please note: any employment projections outlined below were calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics prior to COVID-19.

Employment snapshot

Road Freight Transport is the largest employing sub-sector in the Transport and Logistics sector followed by Postal and Courier Pick-up and Delivery Services, and 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 all increased between the years 2000 and 2019 however all except Water Transport Support Services and Warehousing and Storage Services decreased between 2019 and 2020. Employment levels are projected to continue increasing over the next five years until 2024 for all the sub-sectors except Water Transport Support Services which is projected to decline.

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 are expected to increase over the next four years until 2024.

Automobile Drivers, and Transport and Despatch Clerks made up 18% and 8% respectively of the combined Transport Support Services (not further defined), Water Transport Support Services and Other Transport Support Services industry workforces. Employment levels in both of these occupations is expected to increase over the next four years until 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 63,890 program enrolments in Transport and Logistics-related qualifications during 2019 and 12,120 completions. Both program enrolments and completions decreased significantly overall between 2015 and 2019. Seventy-seven per cent of enrolments were at the certificate III level with a further 12% at the certificate II level in 2019.

During 2019, a high proportion of enrolments were in Warehousing Operations (34%), Driving Operations (31%) or Logistics qualifications (28%). For Warehousing Operations qualifications, the main intended occupation was Storeperson, followed by a small degree of Warehouse Administrators. Driving Operations qualifications had the main intended occupation of Truck Driver (General), followed by a small degree by Automobile Drivers and Truck Drivers. Logistics qualifications tended to have an intended occupation of Despatching and Receiving Clerk, followed by a small degree by Supply and Distribution Manager, and Production Clerk. Ports qualifications had the main intended occupations of Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator and to a lesser extent Waterside Worker.

For enrolments during 2019, private training providers delivered 90% of all Transport and Logistics-related qualifications. Nearly 53% of subjects delivered by private training providers were Commonwealth and state funded. This proportion increased to 71% for subjects delivered by TAFE institutes with the remainder mainly domestic fee for service (43%).

Student location was dominated by the Eastern states with 27% of students in 2019 residing in New South Wales, with a further 27% in Victoria and 20% in Queensland.

More than two fifths of training was delivered in Victoria (44%), followed by New South Wales (23%) and Queensland (16%).

During 2019, there were approximately 7,020 apprenticeship and traineeship commencements and nearly 3,830 completions in Transport and Logistics related-qualifications. Apprenticeship and traineeship commencement and completion numbers have declined substantially since 2013, but commencements increased slightly in 2017 and 2018 along with completions in 2018 and 2019. The highest proportion of apprentices and trainees were training in Warehousing Operations with the intended occupation of Storeperson or Warehouse Administrator, followed by Driving Operations with the intended occupation of Truck Driver (General). As at December 2019, New South Wales reported the highest proportion of apprentices and trainees in training (48%) followed by Queensland (16%) and Victoria (14%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.  

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

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Transport and Logistics IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies the top priority skills in the Transport and Logistics sector as:

  • Health and safety
  • Operational skills
  • Compliance
  • Digital skills.

The top priority industry and occupation skill is driving.

Additionally, the top five generic skills in order of importance are listed as:

  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) (Foundation skills) 
  • Managerial / Leadership
  • Technology
  • Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self-management (adaptability)
  • Design mindset / Thinking critically / System thinking / Solving problems.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were communication and planning skills. The most advertised Transport and Logistics occupations were Bus and Coach Drivers followed by Truck Drivers. The top employers for Transport and Logistics workers are the Government of New South Wales and Linfox.

Transport and Logistics IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies the following areas as experiencing a skills shortage, with more than 80% of employer respondents reporting a skills shortage in the last 12 months:

  • Heavy vehicle drivers
  • Drivers (general)
  • Educators, trainers and assessors
  • Warehousing
  • Supervisors / managers.

The following were also indicated by employers as reasons for the skills shortages:

  • Ageing workforce / current staff retiring
  • Unattractive job / poor industry image
  • Cost / time to achieve the required qualification
  • Competition from other organisations
  • Wages / salaries considered too low.

The Transport and Logistics IRC's 2020 Skills Forecast (abridged annual update) identifies three new industry workforce, skills developments or trends that have emerged since the release of the Transport and Logistics IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast. They relate to new technologies and automation and are:

  • Automated logistics and warehouses – Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and technologies such as LADAR or Contour Navigation, robotics can minimise labour and optimise warehouse operations. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) can be used to perform pallet transport, storage and retrieval and drones for stocktaking and inventory management. Internet of Things (IoT) technology is optimising fleet movement, and by combing with data analytics, logistics organisations can create virtual representations of their warehouses.
  • Digital supply chain – data analytics and artificial intelligence can assist organisations shift to data driven decision making by predicting orders based on previous customer behaviour, allowing them to determine the logistic services will be needed and the locations they will be required.

Blockchain – block-chain based systems can increase the traceability of goods by enabling transparency and transaction history to be available to all participants, reducing the risk of supply of counterfeit goods and increasing consumer satisfaction.

The trends identified in the Transport and Logistics IRC's 2020 Skills Forecast (abridged annual update) are supported in the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. The Strategy states connected and automated vehicles, drones and distributed ledgers, can increase network efficiency, decrease risks to transport users, reduce fuel usage and emissions, and enhance traceability of supply chains, however, the freight industry is experiencing shortages of skilled workers. The Transport and Logistics IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast reports an ageing workforce, attracting, training and retaining young workers and diversity continue to be challenges for the industry. The Promotion of training and re-skilling of the workforce is indicated as a priority in the National Action Plan associated with the Strategy.

The transport chapter of the Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 also identifies autonomous trucks, drones, robotics and automation, electric vehicles, telematics, blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning as existing and emerging technologies that may have an impact freight transport and logistics, reducing costs and improving reliability, efficiency and safety.

The Evolution of Skills in Transport and Logistics states the Transport and Logistics industry has experienced significant change from the adoption of ecommerce and improvements in warehousing and distribution that include robotic picking and packing. The industry will be further impacted with the introduction of autonomous vehicles and drones. To meet the challenges technological advancements present, a workforce that has previously had little engagement with technology will require upskilling or training in digital skills, and ongoing skills development.

The 2019 report Skilling the Australian Workforce for the Digital Economy explores the need for digital skills in the transport and logistics industry. The top five technologies impacting skills needs are identified as: mobile, cloud, automation, big data and the internet of things. Emerging technologies such as drones, wearables, self-driving vehicles and augmented and virtual reality were identified by less than a quarter of survey respondents as impacting skills.

A report by Deloitte Access Economics, The Future of Work: Occupational and Education Trends in Supply Chain and Logistics in Australia, highlights how the nature of work and study in supply chain and logistics is evolving due to ongoing changes to the economic, business and labour market landscape. Demand for logistics skills is likely to rise in the future, and an increased role for data analytics, drones, driverless vehicles, 3D printing and sensor technology will require a hybrid of business, IT, engineering and industry-specific skills.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

 

Relevant research

Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 – Infrastructure Australia

Employers' Perspectives on Training: Three Industries – Chandra Shah

Improving Workforce Attraction and Retention Rates for Australian Transport and Logistics Companies – Paul Kahlert

National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy – Australia. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

National Action Plan – Australia. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

National Transport Regulatory Reform: Issues Paper – Productivity Commission

Skilling the Australian Workforce for the Digital Economy  – Victor Gekara, Darryn Snell, Alemayehu Molla, Stan Karanasios & Amanda Thomas

The Evolution of Skills in Transport and Logistics – TAFE NSW Enterprise

The Future of Work: Occupational and Education Trends in Supply Chain and Logistics in Australia – Deloitte Access Economics

 

Industry associations

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association

Australian Furniture Removers Association

Australian Logistics Council

Australian Taxi Industry Association

Australian Trucking Association

Bus Industry Confederation

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia

NT Road Transport Association

Queensland Trucking Association

Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia

Victorian Transport Association

Waste, Recycling Industry Association (QLD)

 

Industry advisory bodies

Automotive Training Board – NSW

Industry Skills Advisory Council – NT

Logistics Training Council – WA

 

Licensing / Regulatory

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

Safe Work Australia

 

Employee associations

Maritime Union of Australia

United Workers Union

Transport Workers Union of Australia

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry employment projections to May 2024
    • 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 2024
    • 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 2020, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 – EQ06, viewed 1 August 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202020?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, 2000 to 2020, 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
  • 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)
    • TLI41218 - 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)
    • TLI41318 - 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)
    • TLI41418 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Motorcycle Riding Instruction).
  • Driving Operations
    • TLI21209 - Certificate II in Driving Operations
    • TLI21210 - Certificate II in Driving Operations
    • TLI21216 - Certificate II in Driving Operations
    • TLI30207 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport)
    • TLI31209 - Certificate III in Driving Operations
    • TLI31210 - Certificate III in Driving Operations
    • TLI31216 - Certificate III in Driving Operations
    • TLI33413 - Certificate III in Waste Driving Operations
    • TLI33416 - Certificate III in Waste Driving Operations
    • TLI33418 - Certificate III in Waste Driving Operations
    • TLI42111 - Certificate IV in Driving Operations
    • TLI42116 - Certificate IV in Driving Operations.
  • International Freight Forwarding/Customs Broking
    • TLI31310 - Certificate III in International Freight Forwarding (Operator)
    • TLI31316 - Certificate III in International Freight Forwarding (Operator)
    • TLI41610 - Certificate IV in International Freight Forwarding (Senior Operator)
    • TLI41616 - Certificate IV in International Freight Forwarding (Senior Operator)
    • TLI50310 - Diploma of International Freight Forwarding
    • TLI50316 - Diploma of International Freight Forwarding
    • TLI50813 - Diploma of Customs Broking
    • TLI50816 - Diploma of Customs Broking.
  • Logistics
    • TLI11310 - Certificate I in Logistics
    • TLI11315 - Certificate I in Logistics
    • TLI21107 - Certificate II in Transport and Logistics (Logistics Operations)
    • TLI21810 - Certificate II in Logistics
    • TLI21815 - Certificate II in Logistics
    • TLI32410 - Certificate III in Logistics
    • TLI32416 - Certificate III in Logistics
    • TLI40118 - Certificate IV in Transport Scheduling
    • TLI41515 - Certificate IV in Materiel Logistics
    • TLI42010 - Certificate IV in Logistics
    • TLI42016 - Certificate IV in Logistics
    • TLI50107 - Diploma of Logistics
    • TLI50210 - Diploma of Materiel Logistics
    • TLI50215 - Diploma of Materiel Logistics
    • TLI50410 - Diploma of Logistics
    • TLI50415 - Diploma of Logistics
    • TLI60110 - Advanced Diploma of Materiel Logistics
    • TLI60115 - Advanced Diploma of Materiel Logistics
    • TLI60210 - Advanced Diploma of Deployment Logistics
    • TLI60215 - Advanced Diploma of Deployment Logistics.
  • Other
    • TLI10115 - Certificate I in Transport and Logistics (Pathways)
    • TLI22413 - Certificate II in Furniture Removal
    • TLI22416 - Certificate II in Furniture Removal
    • TLI22418 - Certificate II in Furniture Removal
    • TLI33313 - Certificate III in Furniture Removal
    • TLI33316 - Certificate III in Furniture Removal
    • TLI42513 - Certificate IV in Traffic Operations
    • TLI42516 - Certificate IV in Traffic Operations
    • TLIPC110 - Certificate I in Transport and Logistics (Pathways).
  • Ports
    • TLI21413 - Certificate II in Stevedoring
    • TLI21416 - Certificate II in Stevedoring
    • TLI30118 - Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI30907 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Mobile Cranes Operations)
    • TLI31510 - Certificate III in Stevedoring
    • TLI31710 - Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI31716 - Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI31718 - Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI33513 - Certificate III in Stevedoring
    • TLI33516 - Certificate III in Stevedoring
    • TLI33518 - Certificate III in Stevedoring
    • TLI40218 - Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI41710 - Certificate IV in Stevedoring Operations
    • TLI41910 - Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI41916 - Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations
    • TLI41918 - Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations.
  • Road Transport Yard Operations
    • TDT10202 - Certificate I in Transport And Distribution (Road Transport)
    • TDT20202 - Certificate II in Transport and Distribution (Road Transport)
    • TLI20118 - Certificate II in Road Transport Terminal Operations
    • TLI21710 - Certificate II in Road Transport Yard Operations (Freight Handler)
    • TLI21716 - Certificate II in Road Transport Yard Operations (Freight Handler).
  • Warehousing Operations
    • TDT20102 - Certificate II in Transport and Distribution (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI10107 - Certificate I in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI11210 - Certificate I in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI11215 - Certificate I in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI20107 - Certificate II in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI21610 - Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI21616 - Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI30107 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI31107 - Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Logistics Operations)
    • TLI31610 - Certificate III in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI31616 - Certificate III in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI40107 - Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Warehousing and Storage)
    • TLI41810 - Certificate IV in Warehousing Operations
    • TLI41816 - Certificate IV in Warehousing Operations.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 subject enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 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 2019 commencements
Updated: 30 Oct 2020
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