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Forest owners identify big transport savings

25 January 2008


Forest owners identify big transport savings

There is a big potential to improve the efficiency and productivity of public highways says NZFOA chief executive David Rhodes.

He was commenting on the recent release of a report that identifies the significant advantages enjoyed by the Australian road transport sector over their NZ counterparts, namely much lower road taxes and much heavier payloads.

“For many decades, forest owners have operated vehicles with heavier payloads on their private roading networks. So we are well aware of the efficiencies involved, as well as the true cost of building and maintaining roads to support them,” he says.

“We are also a major user of the public roads that link forests to mills and ports throughout the country and are therefore concerned about the cost and lost productivity that is imposed on the industry by the current levels of road-user charges and constraints on vehicle weights and dimension,” he says.

“Each year, 31 million tonnes of logs, wood products and paper are transported by road, making forest products the largest road freight category in New Zealand, outside of general freight.”

Late last year forest owners welcomed the Cabinet decision to investigate the introduction of a permit system for heavier vehicles on selected roads and highways.

The forest industry’s submission to the review of the heavy vehicle rule was jointly prepared by the NZFOA and the Logging Truck Safety Council (LTSC) and also represented the interests of distributors of processed forest products.

“We are now looking to work closely with officials in developing and implementing the proposed controlled permit system.”


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