The KZN Department of Transport has started a road freight database to track the movement of cargo and to gather information on shifting freight from road to rail to ease the pressure on South Africa’s roads.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport has started a road freight database to track the movement of cargo and to gather information on shifting freight from road to rail to ease the pressure on South Africa’s roads.

According to , the department said there was a lack of consolidated statistics for the movement of freight and, in partnership with the National Department of Transport, it had commissioned the Freight Transport Databank. “There is no central statistical source of road freight data and apart from some ad hoc reports, there is very little information about the large volumes of cargo carried countrywide by road transport,” KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC Sbu Ndebele said.

He said there had been an outcry over the rate at which the country’s roads were being destroyed by increased overloading of heavy vehicles. The perception was that the solution would be to shift cargo from road to rail. However, he said his department wanted to act on reliable data before implementing any policy. It is estimated 60 to 70-million tons of cargo is transported on the KZN roads annually

“From September 1 we are embarking on a project to develop sustainable strategies to achieve optimal modal split and we realise that there may be cargo that is on rail but should be on road, and vice versa,” said Ndebele.

The pilot project study is expected to be completed by the end of March next year and its recommendations will be implemented soon afterwards. The project will be moved to other provinces with Gauteng and the Western Cape next in line. The modules could eventually be combined to create a National Data Bank, the department said.

Original article from Car