Watch Now

Georgia governor declares supply chain state of emergency

Kemp’s executive order runs for 30 days starting Saturday

Georgia Governor extends motor fuels tax suspension (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has declared what was described as a supply chain state of emergency, thus becoming the first governor to respond in such a manner to a state’s supply chain challenges.

Kemp’s executive order, which goes into effect Saturday and runs until May 16, bans price gouging on goods and services such as diesel fuel and gasoline. It allows trucks with a gross vehicle weight — tractor, trailer and freight — of up to 95,000 pounds and with a maximum width of 10 feet to operate on Georgia’s state and local roads. The state’s current gross vehicle weight limit is 80,000 pounds and the maximum width of a five-axle truck is 8 feet, 5 inches.

The order, issued Thursday, doesn’t apply to trucks operating on the parts of the interstate highway system that run through Georgia.

Vehicles with widths exceeding 8 feet, 6 inches and traveling “after daylight” need to be equipped with escort or amber lights if operating on a two-lane road and with a “vehicle rear escort” when traveling on a four-lane highway, according to Kemp’s order. The order also appears to give state safety officials leeway to grant special operating permits to oversize vehicles.

There was an unsuccessful attempt in California late last year to force Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency. Newsom issued an executive order in October to address the state’s supply chain problems, but he didn’t invoke the state’s emergency powers.

It is unclear as to what practical economic impact the order will have. Kemp, a Republican, is up for reelection this fall and may be trying to demonstrate to voters that he is responding to the state’s supply chain challenges. 

Kemp faces a tough primary challenge from former Sen. David Perdue, who was defeated by Jon Ossoff in the 2020 general election. Should Kemp survive that battle, he will likely face Stacey Abrams, the odds-on Democratic gubernatorial candidate who narrowly lost to Kemp in 2018. 

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.