Border Waits Plague Even the Big Boys

by Mike Zettel

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – Delays at the border continue to be a problem for shippers, and Labatt Brewing Co. is no exception.

Labatt spokesperson Nigel Miller says the situation has not changed significantly in the last few months and that, on average, their trucks experience between 45 minutes to an hour delay.

The waiting times have increased even more since the U.S. – Iraq war, with the longest being three and a half hours.

“Anytime the Canadian or U.S. customs agencies have information indicating a possible threat, they’re pretty quick to implement higher levels of alertness to counter those threats,” says Miller.

“It’s just security, as I understand it.”

Labatt trucks typically cross the border 20 times per week.

Ever since September 11, trucks crossing the border have been subjected to more scrutiny, and officials have been asking more questions.

Nigel says their business has not been overly affected, however, because they have made allowances and plan ahead of time for the delays.

Miller says he is not sure when to expect things to speed up at the border or if it ever will.

“As people keep saying ‘this is the new normal’. I suspect this will continue. We certainly anticipate that it will.”

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