September-October 2015

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24 PalletCentral • September-October 2015 he U.S. House and Senate recently passed bipartisan legislation allowing 33-foot twin trailers on federal highways, with no increase in federal weight restrictions. The current national limit for twin-trailer length is 28 feet, a threshold that has remained in effect since 1982. When lawmakers return from summer recess, they will attempt to reconcile their bills and authorize twin 33s. As a partner with the Coalition for Efficient and Responsible Trucking (CERT)—an organization of shippers, manufacturers, retailers, associations and leading environmental and economic voices—NWPCA signed onto a joint letter to Senator Thad Cochran, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, urging support of a modest increase of five feet for twin trailers. Commenting from NWPCA, Patrick Atagi, vice president of advocacy and external affairs, said the following in support of twin 33s: "The wooden pallet industry primarily ships its product via truck and trailer. The predominantly produced pallet in the United States is 48" x 40". An increase of trailer length from 28- to 33-feet would significantly increase shipping capacity. Greater capacity means less fuel used for transportation costs and some relief from the shortage of truck drivers which helps our members who are mostly small businesses owners. Under current regulations, 28-foot trailers routinely "cube out before they gross out," meaning they fill all their available volume long before the 80,000 lbs. gross weight limit is reached. This inefficiency saddles American businesses with $27 billion per year in avoidable costs that could be eliminated by congressional authorization of 33-ft. doubles operating within the current weight limit. The 18% increase in volume, or an additional eight pallets per load, would provide a much needed boost to productivity. Furthermore, modernizing freight transportation to allow twin 33s will result in 6.6 million fewer truck trips per year, representing The Economic Benefits Along the Road for Twin 33s INDUSTRY T

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