Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that in order to capitalize on the expansion of the Panama Canal and to strengthen Florida’s position as a leader in international trade, the Florida Department of Transportation implemented administrative rule changes to reduce the regulatory burden on trucks, while protecting the integrity of Florida’s infrastructure.

The implemented administrative rule changes will:

  • Streamline the permitting process for applicants;
  • Provide the same level of service to both trip and blanket permit applicants by eliminating the requirement for trip permit applicants to submit a height survey letter prior to obtaining a permit for vehicles up to 18 feet in height;
  • Increase the number of days for which a trip permit is valid from 5 days to 7 days;
  • Increase the maximum gross vehicle weight allowed for sealed containerized cargo units from 95,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds; and
  • Reduce the number and/or type of escorts required when traveling on a limited access facility.

These changes advance Scott’s vision to make Florida the trade gateway for America. A properly permitted sealed truck container can now haul the same weight levels as other surrounding states thereby allowing Florida’s farmers and manufacturers to ship and receive goods through Florida ports that previously went through other states.

Scott said: “In the last three years, we’ve invested $421 million in Florida’s ports to make our state a hub for global commerce and job creation. In addition to our investments, we’ve eliminated 2,300 onerous regulations that hamper businesses growth – and created an environment where businesses can grow jobs for Florida families. By streamlining operations we’ll better position Florida to capitalize on the increased trade opportunities that the expansion of the Panama Canal will bring to our communities.”