Frequently Asked Questions - Intermodal Shipping Containers Overweight Truck Permits

Q1: What does the Governor's Executive Order require of Caltrans?

Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-19-21 directs Caltrans to evaluate and identify priority freight routes to be considered for a temporary exemption to current gross vehicle weight limits.

Q2: How will Caltrans do this?

As stated in the Executive Order, Caltrans, in partnership with the California State Transportation Agency, collaborated with industry stakeholders to evaluate and identify priority freight routes.

Q3: How is Caltrans working with industry stakeholders?

Caltrans held meetings on November 10 and 12, 2021, to gather input, including:

  • The location of distribution centers/transloading facilities.
  • The potential maximum loads they will be transporting.
  • Additional solutions to alleviate seaport congestion.

Caltrans will continue to engage industry stakeholders and other partners on this effort.

Q4: What is Caltrans doing?

Caltrans will be issuing temporary permits to increase the maximum allowable legal gross vehicle weight to 88,000 pounds, beyond the current limit of 80,000 pounds, to facilitate a greater volume of goods moving from seaports to distribution centers.

Q5: How long will the permit be valid?

Existing permits will expire June 30, 2022. Applications are required for new permits as part of a one time extension of this type of permit. Those permits will expire December 31, 2022.

Q6: What can be transported under these temporary permits?

Cargo for international commerce can be transported in intermodal shipping containers between seaports and nearby distribution centers/transloading facilities. 

Q7: For what highways will Caltrans be issuing permits?

Caltrans will be issuing permits for travel on all state and interstate routes between seaports and nearby distribution centers/transloading facilities in California. Travel will be restricted over certain structures based on weight restrictions. Cities and counties would need to issue their own permits for travel on local roads.

Q8: When will Caltrans start accepting permit applications?

Caltrans started accepting permit applications on November 19, 2021.

Q9: Does the temporary permit apply to the Port of Oakland?

Yes, the temporary permit applies to the Port of Oakland.

Q10: Does the permit cover export?

Yes, the permit would cover transport of goods for international commerce (export/import) in intermodal shipping containers between seaports and nearby distribution centers/transloading facilities.

Q11: What is the load allowance under this temporary permit?

The maximum allowable weight is legal plus 4,000 pounds (Maximum) for a single axle, Legal plus 6,000 pounds (Maximum) for tandem or greater axles, and up to 88,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). Loading not to exceed maximum tire load rating. 

Q12: Where can I get additional information about the temporary permit?

Additional information on how to apply for a temporary permit can be obtained from the following website: Intermodal Shipping Container Permits

Q13: Where can I get the list of restricted bridges that I cannot travel on?

The restricted bridge list is available through the main website: Intermodal Shipping Container Permits along with a map viewer.

Q14: What ports can these temporary permits cover?

These permits can cover cargo going from or to any seaport in California.

Q15: Can these permits be used for cargo crossing state lines?

No, these are intended for travel between seaports and distribution centers in California.


Updated 6/28/2022