Our own Surface Transportation Summit was held earlier this week and it attracted a record crowd of more than 400 people, representing some of Canada’s top shippers and carriers. Some even stayed for the last session of the day, which ran into the Blue Jays’ clinching ALDS game five (or so I’m told).
Once again, this was a fantastic day of networking and educational opportunities. There’s always a theme that emerges during the Summit and this year it was the toll a falling Canadian loonie is having on trucking companies that came up again and again.
David Zavitz of Canada Cartage showed a slide that indicated a Class 8 truck has gone up in price 38% since 2010, based on the currency swing alone. In 2010, our dollar was above par vs the US greenback. Now it sits at about 75 cents. That doesn’t even factor in the more manageable 8% or so OEMs have added to the price tag over the past five years.
But it’s not all bad. Wes Armour, president and CEO of Armour Transportation Systems, pointed out the new trucks are getting much better fuel economy than the ones they’re replacing. He said his newest trucks are achieving 8 mpg, while the trucks they replaced were getting 6-6.5 mpg. This benefit will be amplified as diesel prices increase.
And Mark Bylsma, president of Spring Creek Carriers, said his company is getting more money for its trade-ins than it had in the past. So fleets in attendance agreed that while the 75-cent dollar does hurt, it’s still worthwhile to invest in new equipment thanks mainly to the improved efficiencies.
For more news from the Summit, visit Trucknews.com. Additional stories are coming later this week as well. For more on the currency situation, go here.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies