The Australian Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) sets out the obligations for operators, drivers, consignors and consignees about the requirements for container weight declarations (CWD).

As freight forwarders recognised as a consignor and a consignee, ICE must declare the combined container and cargo weight of your cargo to the road carriers. Failure in providing correct details can result in large fines and in severe cases criminal prosecution.

What is the maximum gross weight for road transport?

The total weight combining the empty container + truck and trailer including any sideloader equipment+ product weight including all packaging / pallets should not exceed 42.5 tonnes in a common 6 axel semi-trailer delivery. 

standard truck trailer
Standard trailer
Skel trailer
Skel trailer

Below is a reference of gross weight allowed in each state of Australia:

General reference of load restrictions for general purpose containers:
20ft Container40ft Container
Standard trailer26,270 kgs24,800 kgs
Sideloader19,270 kgs17,800 kgs

What is the maximum height and width for road transport?

  • Maximum height is 4.3 metres from the ground to the highest point (this includes the height of the trailer which is generally 0.7 metres). A maximum of 4.6 metres high applies on approved roads.
  • Maximum width is 2.5 metres. Without a special permit, 6 inches on either side of the trailer is allowed to be transported. Applications for special permits for loads exceeding these limits are generally made through the RTA (Road Traffic Authority).

Important Note

At all times, the loads must be made secure and be distributed evenly across the container. If the distribution is not even, then the load may be considered overweight across the number of axels and steer drives.

If you wish to import a container above the recommended weight limits, speak to one of our staff members today and we will advise how best to handle your cargo.

Please note that the above weights are a general guide only. There may be capacity to go higher depending on truck setups, permits, mass management and other factors.