Best practice for moving freight around NZ

TERNZ Participation in OECD-ITF Working Groups

December 2017

More freight being moved by fewer, safer trucks. Photo: TERNZ.

Two related OECD-ITF (International Transport Forum) Working Groups are currently keeping Dr John de Pont of TERNZ busy. 

John is a corresponding member of the Working Group on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Applications for Heavy Goods Vehicles. This working group, which was initiated in February 2016, is reviewing the potential role of larger and heavier vehicles for coping with the projected growth in freight demand and how the impacts of these vehicles can be managed through ITS. John says their focus is on tools for monitoring, ensuring compliance, improving safety and minimising the impact on the infrastructure. 

“A key area of concern is the perception that more efficient road vehicles undermine the use of other modes such as rail and inland waterways and thus the project is putting some effort into looking at the evidence for this effect.  It is expected that the working group will complete its report around the middle of next year [2018].”

The second working group, which is on Policies to Extend the Life of Road Assets, was initiated in July 2017 and is scheduled to report in October 2018. John’s participation in this group is being sponsored by TERNZ and the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (who are covering travel expenses). 

“The main thrust of the project is that there is budgetary pressure in most countries that constrains spending on infrastructure development. At the same time, there is a growing freight task, so we need to develop policies to better utilise the infrastructure.”

Topic areas for these policies include:

  • Vehicle optimisation and inter-modal operations;
  • Asset management;
  • System planning;
  • Compliance and enforcement;
  • Access management; and
  • Traffic management.

New Zealand is well-placed to make a significant contribution to both these working groups. Our High Productivity Motor Vehicle [HPMV] regime, which was introduced in 2010, has been very successful with nearly 50 percent of our combination vehicles - trucks with trailers - now operating under the HPMV provisions. HPMVs are required to meet additional safety standards compared to standard legal maximum vehicles and it is also notable that the growth in heavy vehicle-kms since 2010 is substantially less than the growth in tonne-kms. That is, we have more freight being moved by fewer, safer trucks,” says John.