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Intermodal Drayage

Centrally Located Terminals

9 Locations Covering North America

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Dedicated Fleet

The MDS dedicated fleet ensures quality and consistency.

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MDS is registered with US Customs and Border Protection.

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Operational Information

United States Regulatory Requirements

Background Information

All cargo shipments moving overland within North America are governed by weight restriction laws established by both federal and local government agencies. The consequences of exceeding the legal limit are fines, liability claims, equipment damage and/or extra costs such as transloading.

Safe Container Act

Beginning April 9, 1997 all containers moving by truck over US highways exceeding 29,000 lbs. of gross cargo weight must be certified. Certification must be passed to the carrier prior to tender of the load for intermodal transport. The certificate must include the following items:

  • Certifying party
  • Date of certification
  • Commodity
  • Container number
  • Gross cargo weight including pallets and dunnage

Failure to comply with federal law can result in the delay of the shipment. The law now gives the trucker, if fined for an overweight violation due to incorrect or missing information from the issuing party of the container, the right to lien the load to collect the amount of the fine. The liable party is the party that provides false or erroneous certification information, violates state highway weight law or fails to pass on certification information.

Maximum Payload (USA & Canada):

To prevent the stressing of Federal Highway Bridges, the Federal Bridge Formula uses the spacing of axles on vehicles to help identify the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight. Various factors such as type of cargo, distribution of cargo within the container and different types of equipment (e.g. steel vs. aluminum containers, flush vs. slider chassis, tractor weight/type, gensets for reefer) will affect the determination of an absolute maximum cargo payload.

Due to the variety of variables that factor into the bridge formula calculation, we offer the following recommended guideline for the average maximum container payload weights.

NOTE: Strict adherence to reefer weights. Limit of tare weight shown on container may never be exceeded.

In the USA:

  • 39,500 lbs. (17.92MT) per 20-foot container
  • 44,500 lbs. (20.19MT) per 40-foot container
  • 41,500 lbs. (18.82MT) per 45-foot container
  • 36,500 lbs. (16.56MT) per 20-foot reefer container
  • 41,500 lbs. (18.82MT) per 40-foot reefer container

In Canada:

  • 40,000 lbs. (18.14MT) per 20-foot container
  • 44,500 lbs. (20.19MT) per 40-foot container
  • 37,000 lbs. (16.78MT) per 20-foot reefer container
  • 41,500 lbs. (18.82MT) per 40-foot reefer container

Weight Limitations by State/Province:

Special equipment is available in some North American locations for overweight containers to be handled legally.

  • Some states have higher weight limitations with permits. See grid below.
  • Additional weight permits are for 40s only where available.
  • All states are 80,000 G.V.W. except those where Permits are available up to a specified weight limit. Note - G.V.W. means Gross Vehicle Weight and is the weight of the container, cargo and tractor.
  • Any Permit requests are required to be submitted through the Exception Handling Process and an SSR secured for additional costs and special handling.

 

State/ProvinceG.V.W. *G.V.W. w/ PermitSingle AxleTandem Axle

Alabama

80,000

100,000

20,000

34,000

Alaska

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Alberta

86,000

n/a

56,000

86,000

Arizona

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Arkansas

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

British Columbia

86,000

n/a

56,000

86,000

California

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Colorado

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Connecticut

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Delaware

80,000

90,000

22,000

34,000

Florida

80,000

95,000

20,000

34,000

Georgia

80,000

100,000

20,000

34,000

Idaho

80,000

105,000

20,000

34,000

Illinois

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Indiana

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Iowa

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Kansas

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Kentucky

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Louisiana
***50 mile radius of port

80,000

95,000

n/a

40,000

Maine

80,000

99,000

20,000

34,000

Manitoba

82,700

n/a

20,000

35,000

Maryland

80,000

90,000

22,000

40,000

Massachusetts

80,000

99,000

20,000

34,000

Michigan

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Minnesota

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Mississippi

80,000

95,000

20,000

34,000

Missouri

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Montana

80,000

105,000

20,000

34,000

Nebraska

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Nevada

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

New Brunswick

97,000

n/a

19,900

39,700

Newfoundland

97,000

n/a

19,900

39,700

New Hampshire

80,000

99,000

20,000

34,000

New Jersey

80,000

90,000

20,000

34,000

New Mexico

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

New York

80,000

88,000

20,000

34,000

North Carolina

80,000

94,000

20,000

34,000

North Dakota

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Nova Scotia

97,000

n/a

19,900

39,700

Ohio

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Oklahoma

80,000

95,000

20,000

40,000

Ontario

97,000

n/a

19,900

39,700

Oregon

80,000

105,000

22,400

36,000

Pennsylvania

80,000

90,000

20,000

34,000

Prince Edward Island

97,000

n/a

20,000

40,000

Quebec

90,961

n/a

39,682

46,296

Rhode Island

80,000

99,000

20,000

34,000

Saskatoon

86,000

n/a

56,000

86,000

South Carolina

80,000

90,000

20,000

34,000

South Dakota

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Tennessee

80,000

90,000

20,000

34,000

Texas

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Utah

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Vermont

80,000

99,000

20,000

34,000

Virginia

80,000

90,000

20,000

34,000

Washington

80,000

105,500

20,000

34,000

West Virginia

80,000

88,000

20,000

34,000

Wisconsin

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

Wyoming

80,000

n/a

20,000

34,000

* Gross Vehicle Weight in lbs.
*** within 450 miles radius of the ports you can run heavier but outside the 50 mile radius, GVW is 80,000.
 

 

 

 

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