Changing truck size and weight laws is really the only way to combat the capacity crunch; so what’s holding it up?
Every business that ships goods understands that there is a capacity crunch, necessitating more trucks to be out on the road. It’s not just business to business, or business to retail that’s creating this tightness. It’s also the e-commerce economy, where individual packages are delivered to individual customers. That’s why FedEx has been at the forefront of the push to run twin 33-foot trailers and the industry is pushing for six-axle trailers instead of five.
So there was a lot of frustration in the industry when the DOT gave its reason for precluding changes on truck size and weight – that the department lacks the data necessary to conclusively study the impact of new truck configurations. An article in Truckinginfo.com illustrates that frustration, citing American Trucking Associations CEO and President, Bill Graves, who said “Given the timing of the release of this study, it is an obvious attempt to promote administration policy, rather than give Congress the unbiased information it requested.”
The DOT indicated that they were considerable limitations that prevented them from gathering all the necessary data. However, the benefits of employing these trailers are clear:
- An overall lowering of vehicle miles traveled by trucks
- A decline in total logistics costs for transporting freight
- Lower congestion costs, fuel costs, and carbon and other emission
- Heavier 6-axle vehicles will still have stability and control systems
The concerns that have been expressed regarding a crumbling infrastructure, especially when it comes to bridges can be dealt with through posting warning or imposing fees.
Freight and the need to deliver it is only going to grow. The consumer isn’t interested in hearing about a capacity crisis…they just want it solved.
Read the full article here.