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Road Weight Limitations

Road Weight Limitations

Road Weight Limitations

Road Limits for:

Brazil | El-Salvador | India | Japan | Korea | Romania | Russia | Taiwan | USA & Canada
Road Limits  for USA & Canada


There are no exceptions to the following Weight Limits!

If containers are received weighing in excess of the limits described below, one of the following will be required at the expense of the customer’s account:

  1. Stripping/Re-stuffing: Cargo will need to be stripped and re-stuffed into two containers. The additional costs incurred will include not only the stripping/re-stuffing costs, but the additional inland costs required to deliver the second container to the door.
  2. Container will be terminated at the port.
  3. Container will be terminated at the rail yard.
  4. Overweight 20 foot containers destined to the Container Yard (CY) will be terminated due to limited quantities of Tri-Axles. Tri-Axles are to be used for door moves only where weight limits do not exceed the guidelines provided.



Spring Thaw: March 15th – May 15th – Applicable Weight Limits
DV/HC/OT/FR 20’ 48,000lbs 20’ 45,000lbs
  40’ 55,000lbs 40’ 43,000lbs
RF/RH 20’ 44,000lbs 20’ 41,000lbs
  40’ 53,000lbs 40’ 38,000lbs
USA – Zone A 


Zone A includes the following states:  Arizona – Iowa – Nebraska – Oregon – Arkansas – Kansas – Nevada – Rhode Island – California – Kentucky – New Hampshire – South Dakota – Colorado – Maine – New Jersey – Texas – Connecticut – Massachusetts – New Mexico – Utah – District of Columbia – Michigan – New York – Vermont – Idaho – Minnesota – North Dakota – Washington – Illinois – Missouri – Ohio – Wisconsin – Indiana – Montana – Oklahoma – Wyoming – West Virginia


Zone A – Weight Limits
DV/HC/OT/FR 20’ Without Tri-Axle 38,000lbs
  20’ With Tri-axle 44,000lbs
  40’   44,000lbs
RF/RH 20’ Without Tri-Axle 34,000lbs
  20’ With Tri-Axle 40,000lbs
  40’   41,000lbs


Zone A – Weight Limits Exceptions
DV/HC/OT/FR 40’   43,000lbs
DV/HC/OT/FR 20’ Without Tri-Axle 34,000lbs
  40’   43,000lbs
DV/HC/OT/FR 20’ Without Tri-Axle 36,500 lbs
  20’ on Tri-Axle 44,000 lbs
  40’   44,000 lbs
Reefers 20’   32,000 lbs
  40’   39,000 lbs
California – Illinois – Indiana – Wisconsin
RF/RH 20’ Without Tri-Axle 32,000lbs
  20’ With Tri-Axle 38,000lbs
  40’   39,000lbs


Zone B includes the following states: Alabama – Maryland – Tennessee – Delaware – Mississippi – Virginia – Florida – North Carolina – Georgia – Pennsylvania – Louisiana – South Carolina
Zone B Overweight Permits Available
DV/HC/OT/FR 20’ Without Tri-Axle 38,000lbs
  20’ With Tri-Axle 44,000lbs – With Permit 46,000lbs
  40’   44,000lbs – With Permit 51,000lbs
RF/RH 20’ Without Tri-Axle 34,000lbs
  20’ With Tri-Axle 40,000lbs – With Permit 41,000lbs
  40’   41,000lbs – With Permit 43,000lbs


Zone B Exceptions
South Carolina
DV/HC/OT/FR 20’ With Tri-Axle 43,000lbs – With Permit 45,000lbs
DV/HC/OT/FR 20’ With Tri-Axle 42,000lbs – With Permit 44,000lbs
West Virginia
Will permit for loads originating or terminating in their state only. Cannot drive through.
UNITED STATES – Additional Weight Considerations


  • As a general rule, gross weight (tractor/tare weight/cargo weight) for 40’ equipment should be less than  80,000lbs, with a cargo weight of 45,000lbs depending on tractor.
  • 40’ reefer cargo weight should be between 39,000 – 40,000lbs, cargo weight must be under 80,000lbs gross weight (tractor/tare weight/cargo weight).
  • 20’ laws in all states are governed by new bridge law weight which took effect in 1998. Distance between wheel base determines actual weight per axle and gross weight. As a general rule, cargo weight should not surpass 37,000lbs with a total gross weight (tractor/tare weight/cargo weight) of 68,000lbs.
  • It is possible to be considered overweight in one or all of the following ways:
    • Gross Weight – Maximum allowable weight for trucks on U.S. Interstate highways is 80,000lbs, including tractor weight, chassis and container weight, cargo weight. Non-interstate limits are typically lower and vary.

1.      Axle Weight – Allowable gross weight on a single or set of axles is regulated by individual states. States typically allow 34,000lbs per tandem axle and 20,000lbs over single axle.

2.      Over 50% of all U.S. citations issued are for axle weight violations, usually the result of uneven distribution of the load inside the container.

3.     Bridge Formula – This law sets maximum weights according to the distance between sets of axles.


Up to 31 tons = Normal truck i.e. trucks provided with 06 axles.

Over 31 tons = Special truck i.e. trucks provided with 07 axles.

Above tonnages include the tare.

The maximum road weight limitations for El Salvador is 21.5 Tons (including Tara) for both 20’DV and 40’DV. Any weight over this number will cause penalties and delays at the port by the Customs Authorities.      
23 tons, including tare for both 20′ and 40′ alike      
Road Weight Limitation in Japan:
Maximum permissible weight for containers (20′ and 40′) including tare weight and including reefer equipment is 30.480 Kilo tons with conditions:A) Use Tri-Axle chasses for transport
B) Apply sanction for transportation route
18 tons/20’DV, 23.5 tons/40’DV exclude tare weight.–> local Import

For north port area (HBCT/DPCT/KPCT/General pier) : no limit–> T/S

Between HBCT/PNC : GW 23 tons/20′, 27 tons/40′ include tare weight –> T/S



By truck:
20 Tons for both 20′ and 40’By rail:
24 tons for 20′ and 26 tons for 40′


20′ Dry Van and 20′ Open Top – Cargo weight cannot exceed 18 tons (not including tare)

40′ Dry Van/ High Cube/Open Top – Cargo weight cannot exceed 18 tons (not including tare)

20′ and 40′  Flat Rack  – Cargo weight cannot exceed 16.5 Tons (not including tare)

During the period between March 25th and April 25th there is a special restriction:

20′ Dry Van and Open Top – cargo weight cannot exceed 9 Tons (not including tare)

40′ Dry Van and Open Top – cargo weight cannot exceed 7 Tons (not including tare).


20′ Dry Van/ Flat Rack / Open Top – weight cannot exceed 30 Tons including tare
40′ Dry Van / Flat Rack / Open Top / High Cube  and 45’HF – weight cannot exceed 30 Tons including tare
20’ reefer/40’ reefer – weight cannot exceed 29 Tons including tare


Container Road Weight Limitations
Article Name
Container Road Weight Limitations
Container Road Weight Limitations in Brazil El-Salvador India Japan Korea Romania Russia Taiwan USA & Canada
Publisher Name
Virgin Shipping
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