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The intention of this databank in the first instance is to document the statistics on rail freight, pipeline, ports and air cargo as sourced from the responsible parastatal agencies, and to calculate the road freight transport tonnages moving on the main road corridors in the province. Until the inception of this databank no road freight statistics were recorded in South Africa and, this information in respect of the Eastern Cape is thus unique to this databank. The relevant databank sections describe the statistics per mode, as well as give an introductory description of the operations per mode.

The second output of the databank is a general summary of the main industries, and their locations, in the province that produce freight transport.

There is a section describing the Roads in the province, with information supplied by the Province of the Eastern Cape Department. of Roads and Transport on general road condition, capacity and maintenance expenditure.

A fourth output benefit is a section titled Authorities, which the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport, and includes certain official statistics, e.g. on overloading control, vehicle accidents and vehicle registrations.

In this formulation stage of the freight transport databank the intention is to create the basic databank framework, with modal and industry information as available from the parastatal agencies and as supplied by industry. At present modal information as produced by the parastatals is not harmonised and this initiative can be regarded as a first step towards achieving integrated modal, trade and customs statistics.

Industries to varying degrees are also sometimes reluctant to provide statistical information, and it is anticipated that it will take a 2nd and perhaps a 3rd annual information update for a fully comprehensive picture of all provincial freight movements to emerge.

The Databank is designed as a navigable electronic ‘bank’ or web and will lay a foundation for informed decision making by the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport and other users.