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September-October-2015

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palletcentral.com PalletCentral • September-October 2015 25 More Talk About Twins Many NWPCA members, especially on the West Coast, use twin 28' foot trailers. With the proposal in the United States Senate to extend trailers to 33', there is much dialogue on the topic of twin 33s and how any reform would impact everyone in the supply chain straight through to the consumer. Here is what others are saying. NWPCA will post the topic and continue the dialogue online at PalletCentral.com. "With regard to the Twin-33 provision, I think the evidence to justify the existing federal limitation is flimsy at best, and the evidence for permitting these slightly longer BUT NO HEAVIER trucks to operate is substantial. "I have found no evidence in the testimony and submissions of those who oppose this change that it will impair safety, increase wear and tear on roads—but unequivocal evidence that it will save substantial amounts of otherwise wasted fuel, reduce the number of trucks on our highways, and make the trucking sector more efficient— perhaps as much as 16-18% more efficient for the segment impacted. These are the kinds of opportunities that we need to grab—even when the industry in question may well need other vital reforms to enhance safety." (Letter to Minority Leader Harry Reid, 7/25/15) Carl Pope, a preeminent environmental advocate and founder of the Sierra Club "Transportation is critical to manufacturers from start to finish. While freight volumes continue to increase as a result of an economy on the rebound, our infrastructure is not keeping up with these demands. Increases in productivity are critical to keeping manufacturers competitive. The introduction of less than truckload twin 33' trailers is a common sense solution to safely and effectively move freight." Rosario Palmieri, vice president of infrastructure, legal and regulatory policy for the National Association of Manufacturers "Higher capacity vehicles have potential to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, as well as yield fewer miles, require fewer trucks on the road, lower transportation costs and result in higher productivity. This would improve road efficiency and utilization, as well as extend the life of our aging roads and bridge infrastructure." Steve Pociask, president of the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research a 1.3 billion-mile reduction in truck traffic. The reduction in traffic will economize 204 million gallons of fuel annually and reduce carbon emissions by 4.4 billion pounds per year. The reduced congestion would also prevent 912 crashes. Academic studies have found that, because they have a longer wheelbase, 33- foot double trailer configurations are inherently more stable than today's twin 28-foot trailers. CERT is not advocating for changes to the federal weight standards. The proposal to extend twin trailers in the less than truckload (LTL) does not alter the overall weight limit of 80,000 pounds, nor does it change axle or bridge formula weight limits. Shippers are also ready to adapt. In a recent article on the topic, FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick Smith said that some customers have already made changes in their packaging as a result of the shift. Improvements in freight transportation, road safety, and the environment are a win-win for everyone. Atagi adds: "At any given time there are two billion pallets in use in the United States. We need to continue our focus on sustainability and its simple math that more cubic feet on a trailer reduces truck trips, which in turn reduces the number of trucks on the road." Savings from this reform would impact everyone in the supply chain straight through to the consumer. Less than truckload (LTL) carriers serve more than 9.4 million customers daily in every state in the nation, from big name retailers and manufacturers to family-owned businesses. It's long overdue for Congress to come together on this common sense issue and pass legislation allowing twin 33s. Learn more about the length of twin trailers issue, join in the dialogue, or add a comment at PalletCentral.com. PC

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