International Supply Chain Benchmarking Project

International Supply Chain Benchmarking Project - High level project outline

As a key action under the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, international benchmarking helps us evaluate the performance of Australian supply chains. The project delivers on industry calls for benchmarking made during the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, and fills a gap in supply chain performance evaluation.

Comparing how different commodities reach their destination - whether in Australia or international export markets - helps us to identify adjustments to improve outcomes and increase competitiveness for Australian producers.

Why Benchmark?

The international benchmarking project aims to provide stakeholders with simple, repeatable and accessible benchmarking information that can:

  • enhance collaboration and co-ordination to integrate and optimise supply chain outcomes;
  • inform policy and planning to support sustainable investment and effective regulation;
  • improve efficiency and international competitiveness, enabled by data transparency. 

Action underway

Building upon a 2019 pilot study, the Department is taking an iterative approach to this project. Undertaking deep dive international benchmarking studies on key commodities, as well as working with CSIRO to provide an online benchmarking tool (TraNSIT).

International Benchmarking Deep Dive Studies

Working closely with industry and government stakeholders, the series of deep dive studies compare Australia’s nationally significant supply chains with relevant international competitors to provide insights into best practice and potential opportunities for reform in Australia.

So far, the project has completed deep dive studies on the waste and wine supply chains, with publication of studies on grain and cement expected in late 2020. The video below, highlights some of the insights from the deep dive into waste supply chains:

Download the pilot study report:

  • International Comparison of Australia's Freight and Supply Chain Performance PDF: 4.7 MB
Waste Australia generates a significant amount of waste per capita (~10% heavy vehicles carry waste). Household waste compares more favourably, though Denmark and Wales divert more from landfill than Australia due to use of waste to energy. Freight component of waste supply chain is relatively efficient, despite long distances to landfill. Waste system design impacts freight efficiency and trade-off between efficient handling and achieving desired environmental outcomes. Australia compares more favourably in terms of unit cost per tonne for recycling and organics. Best practices in waste indicate opportunities to improve in terms of data collection, stakeholder alignment and planning for desired environmental outcomes.
Wine Australia exports two-thirds of its 1.4 billion litres of wine produced – half in bulk – predominantly to the UK, China and US. Australian wine supply chain is efficient (by unit cost) compared with California and Bordeaux. Key supply chain differences:
  • Distributors role and tiered system in USA
  • Different lot sizes in Bordeaux
  • Level of integration (separation of vineyards, wineries and bottling facilities)
For finished goods (particularly export), general container freight supply chain efficiency is a greater influence on efficiency than wine specific factors. Industry indicates material movement is relatively efficient, with appropriate Government support and trade facilitation.
Grain Report forthcoming Report forthcoming Report forthcoming
Cement Report forthcoming Report forthcoming Report forthcoming

CSIRO Benchmarking Tool

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications and Regional Development has engaged the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop a Benchmarking Tool to provide baseline data across a number of commodity supply chains in Australia, for future international benchmarking.

This project builds on the CSIRO Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TraNSIT), providing insights on a range of supply chain indicators, helping us evaluate supply chain performance, from production to markets at different locations, and understand the costs and opportunities. This will also provide a robust basis mechanism to identify other priorities for further supply chain research and international comparison.

An online tool will enable users to navigate the benchmarks to support their own supply chain evaluations and gain a greater understanding of how our supply chains operate.

Next Steps

Next phases of the project involve delivery of an online benchmarking tool, and further deep dives on priority commodities.


For further information contact: