WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today joined more than 70 of the nation's leading food and agriculture associations in sending a letter urging Congress to include the Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act, H.R. 3488, as an amendment to the highway reauthorization legislation, which is expected to go before the full House of Representatives this week.
It is a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Representatives Reid Ribble (R-WI), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), David Rouzer (R-NC) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).
"We believe the SAFE Trucking Act is a carefully crafted proposal with broad support that will safely improve transportation efficiency, facilitate economic growth and bring much needed improvements to the American food supply chain," the groups said in the letter. "It will modernize U.S. truck weight limits, allowing the food and agriculture industry to safely enhance the efficiency of truck and connected modes of transportation."
The dairy industry relies heavily on commercial trucks to get milk from the farm to plants and to move dairy foods from the plants to grocery shelves across the country. Because the products are perishable, they must move quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, outdated federal transportation rules now force trucks to leave plants when they are less than full because the trucks reach the current weight limit before they meet the capacity limit.
By raising the federal gross vehicle weight limit for trucks equipped with six axles rather than the typical five and giving states the flexibility to utilize these trucks where they see fit, the SAFE Trucking Act would safely modernize truck shipments on Interstate highways by allowing trucks to carry more product and thereby reducing the number of trucks on our roadways.
"IDFA thanks Congressman Ribble's leadership and Representatives Schrader, Rouzer and Peterson for their partnership on this common-sense amendment," said Chelsee Woodey, IDFA director of legislative affairs. "Truck weight reform is a key issue for our members and the many other industries relying on trucks to move goods to market, as well as all to of us who share our highways with them. We hope to see it pass the House this week during the highway bill debate."
Read the letter to Congress here.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies within a $125-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. Visit IDFA at www.idfa.org.
SOURCE International Dairy Foods Association