Tankers to carry more milk
Fonterra now has more flexibility to help it manage the big increase in milk flows it is experiencing across the country.
The co-operative’s tanker fleet will be able to collect an additional 1.2 million litres of milk every day for the next three months thanks to a temporary increase in loading limits.
Fonterra managing director trade and operations Gary Romano said government agencies had given the co-operative the goahead to increase the operating weight of its tankers from 44 to 45 tonnes until the end of year.
‘‘A one-tonne increase in our operating weight means every tanker can collect an additional 1000 litres of milk on every run. With 450 tankers on the road during peak production, that’s a big help.
‘‘Some of the best weather conditions we’ve had in years have resulted in a wave of milk coming in earlier than forecasted. Managing all the extra milk is a huge job and it’s great that we’ve got government agency support.’’
Mr Romano said that, with the support of Ministry of Agriculture, the New Zealand Transport Agency granted Fonterra the permit in accordance with the Land Transport Act.
‘‘We’ve got every contingency in place to get all the milk from farm to factory and this is the next step. We contacted the New Zealand Transport Agency to see if we could increase our loading limits and help ease the pressure.
‘‘The transport agency has given us permission to increase our operating weight which will help us pick up the extra volumes of milk – a result that’s good for both the co-op and the New Zealand economy.’’
Mr Romano said the one-tonne weight increase was well within the design capacity of the tankers and Fonterra’s drivers were trained to handle bigger loads.
‘‘Safety is our first priority and our drivers go through extensive training before they get behind the wheel making them well equipped to transport this additional milk,’’ he said.