ABOUT 30,000 trucks were used to cart shipping containers loaded with wheat and barley to the Port of Melbourne last year.
It flies in the face of repeated urgings by successive governments to shift more freight on rail.
The figures are in a report on freight movements from farm to port by the Grains Logistics Taskforce.
The report said 22 per cent of the container movements to the Port of Melbourne were by rail.
The remaining 78 per cent, or 940,063 tonnes of grain, was taken to the port by road.
Using an average container weight of 23 tonnes, about 40,870 containers were used.
If only semi-trailers were used to move the grain into the port, that would translate to almost 41,000 trucks.
By comparison, the maximum payload of B-double trucks is 48 tonnes, though most carry about 44-45 tonnes.
If all the road movement of wheat and barley was transported to port by B-doubles, about 20,890 trucks would be needed.
But if half the trucks were B-doubles with an average payload of 45 tonnes, and the remainder were semi-trailers carrying 24 tonnes, more than 30,000 trucks would have delivered the containers to port.
The figures in the GLT report do not take into account other grains - such as oats, field peas or chick peas - packed into containers.
The previous state government set a target of 30 per cent of container movements - covering all commodities - to the Melbourne port by 2010.
In a report to the Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development in March 2010, consultant Bill Russell said not only did the target fail to be met, but rail's share of container movements actually declined.
Professor Russell told The Weekly Times this week it was critical for the Government to set its own targets.
"Otherwise, the avoidable truck traffic will choke the streets of inner Melbourne," he said.
A government spokeswoman said the Government would consider recommendations made by the GLT along with department advice before responding to the industry.
She said the Government was committed to increasing rail freight usage through initiatives and planning.