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As road freight was, and is, the dominant form of domestic freight transport, the growth of road freight tonne-kms mainly relfects the effects of economic growth. The big increase in 2014 followed by slightly lower figures for 2015 and 2016 may reflect inaccuracies in the data.


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Core dashboard information


Truck and trailer road freight tonne-kms

Nature of data

Primary source

Prior to 2012, estimates of road freight tonne kms were based on Road User Charges (RUC) sales alone. That approach became non-viable following the changes to RUC in 2012, which meant that RUC was no longer based on the actual load on the truck. After 2012, estimates are therefore based on average truck loadings multiplied by truck kilometres travelled. The average truck loadings are obtained from NZTA WIMS (Weigh in Motion Sites) data. For each truck, the load is calculated by taking the measured total weight of the truck and subtracting the tare (unladen) weight of the truck as shown in the Motor Vehicle Register. Total truck kilometres travelled are obtained from RUC sales.

Custodian of data Ministry of Transport
URL https://www.transport.govt.nz/mot-resources/vehicle-fleet-statistics/, New Zealand Vehicle Fleet Annual Statistics spreadsheet, Tab 11.1, 11.2.
Frequency Annual
Disaggregation National
Quality of the data

Subject to some uncertainty as RUC kilometres do not have to be driven in the same year they were purchased.

Next Update September/October