Carrier activity spurred on by resurgence of economyImproved economic activity spurred the transportation sector to raise output by 1.4 per cent in March. The increase benefited trucking firms the mos...
Carrier activity spurred on by resurgence of economy
Improved economic activity spurred the transportation sector to raise output by 1.4 per cent in March. The increase benefited trucking firms the most although rail and shipping companies also posted increases.
The Canadian economy got back on track with Gross Domestic Product growing 0.7 per cent in March after receding in February, according to Statistics Canada. The healthy numbers for March helped boost first quarter growth to 1.2 per cent and marked a return to the solid growth path which had seen economic output rise in each of the previous 18 months.
Many of the key industry sectors important to trucking posted gains in March. Construction activity resumed its upward course, rising 1.0 per cent. After slumping 1.7 per cent in February, manufacturers raised output by 1.6 per cent in March, paralleling a resurgence in export demand. Specifically, makers of automotive parts and cars raised output by 3.4 per cent. Producers of fabricated metal products raised output by three per cent, while makers of electrical and electronic components raised output by 1.3 per cent in March.
However, growth in the mining sector returned to more moderate levels following the steep oil price-induced climb of the latter half of 1999. March’s 0.4 per cent advance resulted primarily from another increase in drilling and rigging activity, the tenth gain in eleven months.
The export market, of particular importance to Canadian truckers since it now accounts for more than 42 per of their revenues, showed accelerated growth in the first quarter, increasing by 3.3 per cent.
U.S. preparing to slash sulfur content in diesel
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it wants the sulfur content of diesel fuel slashed by 97 per cent in six years, in the environmental regulator’s latest bid to clean up truck exhaust. And the move is expected to push the introduction of such things as catalytic converters into the world of trucking.
Environment Canada officials, already in the midst of a process to determine whether Canadian vehicle fuel needs to face any new restrictions, are “closely watching” the U.S. decision, a spokesman confirms.
The current level of sulfur in on-road diesel reaches 500 parts per million (ppm) in the U.S. and that is to be cut to 15 ppm by June 2006. New trucks and buses will need to meet related emission standards beginning in 2007, with full compliance by 2010.
Once fully implemented, the proposal will reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 95 per cent, and cut particulate matter, or soot, by 90 per cent.
If trucks are to begin using pollution control devices such as catalytic converters, the fuel has to be significantly cleaner than it is today, the regulator says.
The average heavy truck made in 2000 emits 88 per cent less pollution than its counterparts built 15 years ago.
Con-Way Canada Express expands to more provinces
Con-Way Canada Express, a subsidiary and operating unit of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Con-Way Central Express, is expanding its operations into five more provinces as part of the company’s overall plan to build a more comprehensive service network in Canada.
For the past eight years, Con-Way has operated in Canada as Con-Way Central Express, providing service to Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. In January, Con-Way Canada Express was established as a Canadian-based subsidiary based in Mississauga, Ont. Following this latest expansion, the company will now offer service to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Con-Way’s newest expansion of service is the largest geographic move taken at one time by the company since it first began entering the Canadian market in 1983. It will also add an additional time zone, the Atlantic Time Zone, to the company’s schedule.
OTA video teaches motorists how to share the road
The Ontario Trucking Association has unveiled a 20-minute video and accompanying pocket guide meant to teach the general public how to share the road with trucks.
The video highlights key tips for road users, while an accompanying pocket reference guide serves as a quick reminder of lessons taught on screen.
Free copies will be distributed to the first 1,000 people who call and request a copy, while others are available for $9.99 each. Institutions and educational facilities can purchase a video with public viewing rights for $19.99.
For more information, call 416-249-7401, or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
ComCar founder succumbs in battle with cancer
Art Joosse, founder of the the Comcar Owner/Operators Association has passed away at 58 after battling cancer.
The former high school guidance counselor launched ComCar as a part-time venture in 1972, and became known for his active role in several trucking related issues when he was called upon as a voice of owner/operators. He was co-chairman of the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council, a co-founder of the Canadian Cooperative of Independent Truck Owner/Operators and sat on such government groups as the Target ’97 task force into truck safety in Ontario. Joosse was honored with an Award of Excellence during last year’s National Transportation Week.
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