Logistics providers have welcomed the Department of Transport's green light for longer lorries this week.

Nine hundred 18.75-metre vehicles will roll out as part of a 10-year trial an increased length of 2.05 ­metres. A further 900 with an increased length of one metre will form part of the trial. The lorries must operate within the existing weight limit of 44 tonnes.

Wincanton technical services director Dave Rowlands said the move would be most beneficial to the grocery industry, with the majority of food and drink deliveries currently constrained by volume rather than weight.

The 2.05-metre longer vehicles will increase loading by 13% the equivalent of four extra pallets. "Savings to each customer will differ, but I've yet to hear a retailer say they can't get a benefit from this," said Rowlands.

William Stobart, Eddie Stobart COO, said the one-metre option was a "considerable opportunity".