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May 16, 2016 1:00 PM, EDT

FedEx Freight CEO Calls on Congress to Allow Twin 33-Foot Trailers

WASHINGTON — Speaking at an Infrastructure Week kickoff event, FedEx Freight CEO Michael Ducker called on Congress to authorize the use of twin 33-foot trailers as a “creative solution” to help the nation’s declining condition of roads and bridges.

“I imagine most of you would agree with me when I say that the transportation infrastructure in our country is at a really critical inflection point,” Ducker told a group of transportation stakeholders, which included several corporate executives and government officials. “The fact of the matter is that the deterioration of our nation’s highways, bridges and ports — both air and ocean — is reaching crisis proportions.”

The event was held at  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK COVERAGE: Via TT's Capitol Agenda

Ducker said that for companies such as FedEx, impassable roads and bridges lead to “increased cost, service delays and untold equipment damage.”

As a result, transportation stakeholders need to continue pressing for sustainable transportation funding such as user fees, public-private partnerships and global private capital.

“In conjunction with raising awareness of these funding opportunities, we also need to look at other creative solutions in the meantime that would significantly reduce wear and tear on our infrastructure,” Ducker said. “One solution that FedEx, in concert with other less-than-truckload companies, has strongly supported is the adoption of a new national standard of 33-foot twin trailers, which would reduce highway congestion and cut back on roadway wear and tear. All without changing the federal gross vehicle weight limit.”

Ducker said FedEx has been operating twin 33s on the Florida Turnpike since 2010, traveling 1.3 million miles without an accident.

FedEx Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.