A new permit from the NSW Nationals in the state government is ensuring products are arriving on supermarket shelves faster.

NSW Nationals Regional Transport Minister Paul Toole said the new permit allowed special Higher Productivity Vehicles to carry up to an additional 22 per cent of supermarket supplies every single trip.

“We know how important it is to keep freight flowing and the supermarket shelves stocked during COVID-19,” Mr Toole said.

“Under this new permit the maximum weight for Higher Productivity Vehicles has increased from 68.5 tonnes up to 79 tonnes which is seeing larger loads being transported northbound across Sheahan Bridge near Gundagai, enabling direct trips from Melbourne to the key Woolworths Distribution Centre in western Sydney.

“This means one less trip out of every six, reducing the number of trucks on the road and supplies reaching supermarkets faster.”

Ron Finemore, owner of Ron Finemore Transport, said his 30-metre Higher Productivity Vehicles were fitted with the most advanced technologies in the world which has enabled his vehicles to obtain the permit to carry more freight.

“Just like the latest cars on the road, our trucks have state-of-the-art technology,” Mr Finemore said.

“The use of advanced telematics fitted to the vehicles ensures they stay 60 metres from other trucks while on Sheahan Bridge and comply with a 90 km/h speed limit.

“The technology also monitors the vehicle’s load and movements which is able to be tracked remotely.”

Ben Newton, Head of Transport Development at Woolworths, said shelves were being stocked quicker during COVID-19 due to the NSW Nationals in the state government’s permit innovation.

“It’s no secret food and grocery supply has been stretched in recent times. Having the flexibility to run higher volume trucks up the Hume has been a big help in our efforts to keep stock on the shelves for our NSW communities,” Mr Newton said.

“This is a great example of government and industry working together to safely improve the road network and supply chain efficiency.”

Mr Toole said Transport for NSW has also recently granted permits to Linfox and GTS Freight for 35 metre Higher Productivity Vehicles to access key distribution centres for Coles and Woolworths in western Sydney and Goulburn.