Cabotage urged for Prairie provinces, Mid-west states

Imagine being able to haul loads from point-to-point in the US, reducing empty miles and improving your vehicle utilization. If a trio of forward-thinking transportation professionals have their way, the practice of cabotage will be permitted – at least on a small scale trial basis for starters.
Bob Dolyniuk, general manager of the Manitoba Trucking Association, Barry Prentice, professor at the University of Manitoba Transportation Institute and Richard Beilock, professor at the University of Florida, jointly developed the idea after a casual discussion at a conference nearly two years ago. The further they explored the benefits of allowing cabotage within Canada and the US, the more excited they grew about the idea.
“It started as an offhand idea, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was both feasible and probably the best way to nudge North America toward the kind of system it must eventually have,” Beilock recently told Truck News. He feels North America will eventually have no choice but to embrace cabotage, if it wishes to remain competitive globally, and Prentice agrees.
“It seems incongruous to me that we have the free movement of goods but not in the trade of transportation services that are necessary to complete our continental exchanges,” Prentice says. “If North America wishes to maintain its competitiveness with Europe, then we have to accept free trade of transportation services.”
A more detailed article on the subject will appear in the November issues of Truck News and Truck West. But if you want to read the proposal itself, and even comment on it, visit the main page and select the link that read Open Prairies Proposal in the Special Supplements section (on the right hand side of the page, below the blog).
The Call for Papers link allows you to comment on the proposal and it’s hoped a healthy debate may result. Here’s your chance to have your say.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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