Florida ups truck container weight, announces permitting changes

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 2/26/2013

Permitted trucks hauling sealed containers in Florida can now weigh up to 100,000 pounds, the state DOT says. An administrative rule change allows the 5,000-pound increase as part of a new permitting process designed to keep the Sunshine State competitive in anticipation of the Panama Canal expansion.

The Florida Department of Transportation announced the following changes that took effect Feb. 14:

  • Streamline the permitting process for applicants
  • Provide the same level of service to both trip and blanket permit applicants by eliminating the requirement for trip permit applicants to submit a height survey letter prior to obtaining a permit for vehicles up to 18 feet in height
  • Increase the number of days for which a trip permit is valid from five days to seven days
  • Increase the maximum gross vehicle weight allowed for sealed containerized cargo units from 95,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds, and
  • Reduce the number and/or type of escorts required when traveling on a limited access facility. (Source: Office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott

“By implementing these rule changes, we are not only enabling freight to flow better but ensuring that Florida remains competitive,” FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad stated.

Ports and the Florida Trucking Association support the measures, according to statements.

The expansion of the Panama Canal continues to push states to upgrade infrastructure and compete for the economic activity associated with more freight.

Texas is upgrading roadways to become part of Interstate 69. The Port of New York and New Jersey is working to raise the height of the Bayonne Bridge to receive larger cargo ships. And the Hampton Roads region in Virginia is building and widening limited access toll roads to and from the ports.

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