Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Saint John Board of Trade excited about possible truck pilot in Maine

The Saint John Board of Trade is excited about the possible truck pilot program in Maine that will see the weight restrictions on trucks travelling on the Interstate 95 increased from 80,000 lbs to 100,000 lbs.

Presently, the Interstate 95 north of Augusta is limited to the federal weight restriction of 80,000 lbs. In Canada, however, the weight is set at 100,000 lbs. This discrepancy has led to inconsistency and inefficiency in the shipment of goods across the border. The increase in weight restrictions for transport trucks will decrease in overall fuel consumption and increase the efficiency and safety of transporting various goods.

The weight disparity has created an economic hardship for the northeast sector of the United States and Canada as it has had an impact on the cost of goods sold in the region. It has repercussions for a variety of companies, not just those exporting goods to the U.S., but also, those that rely upon imports from Maine, whether for commercial, construction, or industrial use.

“Local companies have experienced a hindrance to growth because of this. It has been cheaper for some of our members to ship to Europe than the United States due to these weight restrictions” said Imelda Gilman, President of the Saint John Board of Trade. “We are excited by the proposal by Senator Susan Collins for a one-year pilot project that would enable larger trucks on the Interstate 95. We hope she will have all the Congressional support needed for this to pass.”

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