PICKERING, Ont. –Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) president David Bradley took the trucking industry’s message to the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade during a keynote address last month.
Bradley told the assembled business folks that trucking is a leading indicator of economic prosperity, and added “the best I can say at this point is the prevailing view of most carriers is that we appear to have hit bottom for the time being.”
He said shippers that are enjoying low rates now should not expect them to continue as the industry continues to shed capacity. Despite trucking layoffs and bankruptcies, he told the gathering that “the shrinkage in the volume of freight has outpaced our ability to shrink the fleet” and that there are already signs of an impending capacity shortage in certain lanes.
Despite the trucking industry’s hardships, Bradley said he remains “bullish” on the industry’s overall outlook. He said carriers are more sophisticated today and better able to weather economic downturns.
Bradley also addressed truck safety to the group, which included representation from the local trucking industry with a large contingent of Shandex and Mackie Group executives on-hand. Unlike any other industry, the trucking industry shares its workplace with the public, and “when we screw up, it can be front page,” he said. That’s why the association endorsed speed limiters, which Bradley said so far have been improving the flow of traffic according to anecdotal reports he’s received. While he admitted not all drivers approved of Ontario’s controversial speed limiter law, he said “the reality is there’s no reason, in our view, for a driver to be coerced or forced to speed to make a delivery.”
Bradley explained some of the details of Ontario’s long combination vehicle (LCV) pilot project to the business group, and said about 18 LCVs are currently operating in Ontario.
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