I am sending this e-mail to express my frustration with the ludicrous wait times at border crossings into the U.S. For example, I left on Sunday for a 7:30 a.m. delivery appointment in Wheeling, Ill. I had all my paperwork in order on Friday with PAPS and confirmed with the Broker that all was in order. When I reached Sarnia, Ont., I encountered a nine-kilometre lineup. When I finally got to the customs booth they stated that they were not processing PAPS at the booth that I had to go in to see my broker.
When I went inside, there were at least 60 people ahead of me in line, so instead of just breezing right through I did not get out of Port Huron until 5:30 a.m., making it impossible to make my delivery on time. Fortunately, the customer rescheduled but still it was almost impossible then to make my pickup and head back.
I realize that since Sept. 11 the borders are tighter but this is ridiculous. The wait times vary so drastically and you just cannot plan ahead. On my return trip I was listening to the radio out of Windsor where they were saying the police in the city were blocking and redirecting truck traffic through the city. At times, even before the events of Sept. 11, the waits were long for no apparent reason other than customs just slowing down.
As an industry, we need to use our clout with both the Canadian and U.S. governments to launch a formal complaint to the powers that be. I know these delays have cost me a great deal of revenue from lost loads or having to wait before deliveries or losing a pickup because my trailer is still loaded from the trip out. I feel that I have lost at least one trip a week because of this. Bottom line – it cannot continue like this, something must be done to alleviate this problem as soon as possible.
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