NTC Freight Productivity

Increasing volume restrictions a potential opportunity to increase freight productivity

Interested parties have been invited to help the National Transport Commission (NTC) determine whether there is an opportunity to lift freight productivity by increasing the permitted volume a heavy vehicle can carry to accommodate better low density freight movements.

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said people transporting low weight freight may be held back by the current laws.

“We are interested in hearing from Australia’s transport industry whether reforms to these laws would provide a worthwhile productivity boost,” Mr Retter said.

“Historically, Australia has enjoyed some success in increasing productivity through increases in heavy vehicle mass but the scope for further increases has narrowed over time, and we are keen to begin a discussion with governments and industry on other ways to lift productivity.”

Mr Retter said an increase in the maximum volumetric load-carrying capacity did not require a corresponding increase in the permitted mass of the vehicle when carrying low density freight.

This type of freight has a relatively low mass but occupies a relatively high volume of load space.

Examples include palletised mixed freight, white goods, groceries and cars – where varying shapes tend to create gaps in the load, reducing their overall density.

“If we increased the maximum volume a heavy vehicle can carry fewer trips would be needed than otherwise. This potentially means less heavy vehicle traffic and congestion, better road safety outcomes and lower levels of transport emissions,” Mr Retter said.

“Not only would this be a good outcome for productivity, but it would also be a good outcome for other road users and our environment.

“However, there are also potential issues and costs, and we are seeking to start a discussion to inform the next stage of the project, which will involve the development of possible reforms.”

Submissions to Increasing heavy vehicle volumetric load capacity without increasing mass limits issues paper can be made up until 5pm Friday 26 September 2016.