Topics / Productivity / Increasing allowed volume where mass is not the constraint (policy work complete)

We are investigating potential areas to improve the productivity of volume constrained vehicles, partnering with the NHVR to implement proposals or trials.

Increasing allowed volume where mass is not the constraint (policy work complete)

  • Scoping > 
  • Analysing issues > 
  • Analysing options > 
  • Implementing


The Australian freight task is growing. Industry has told us that up to 80 per cent of vehicle trips are constrained by the volumetric storage capacity of the vehicle (i.e. ability to fit freight into the allowable length, height and width), rather than mass limits.

This project aims to increase the productivity of the road network and freight fleet by sharing good practice and helping road managers identify ways to improve the productivity of their road network.

Next steps

Proposed laws will be considered by Australia’s transport ministers at their next meeting scheduled for November 2017 and are likely to take effect in 2018.


Our stakeholders told us that they see a need to drive down transport costs, particularly when the cost of goods is marginal - such as cotton, wood chips or hay.

We recently completed a case study of access management decisions that found similar examples of loads that were not mass constrained, but where permits were still needed because of increased volume (width and length) negatively impacting transport timings and cost for Australian manufacturers and businesses. 

Our research also indicated that looking at more long haul freight such as mail operations on highways, where lower mass, but higher volume freight could significantly improve productivity. 

Get involved


Contact us

Project Manager Jeff Potter
Last Updated: 30/5/2018