VANCOUVER, B.C. – To address charges that were being called disproportionate, smaller trucking companies authorized to operate within the Vancouver Fraser Port will see rates drop Jan. 1, 2018.
Small trucking companies and government provided feedback to the port indicated concern with the fees. As a result, approximately one third of those smaller trucking companies will pay $25,000 per year as opposed to the previous $35,000 in years past.
“We heard concerns from trucking companies and the Government of Canada, including Lower Mainland Members of Parliament,” said Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “We took that feedback seriously and believe we have now addressed the concerns raised.”
As the port authority’s truck licensing system operates on a cost-recovery basis, savings smaller trucking companies will see will be equally distributed across the largest trucking companies.
“In setting the new access charges, the port authority proposed three alternative solutions and presented them to local container trucking companies and government for review and discussion,” said Xotta. ”Changes were made to incorporate what we heard, which ultimately led us to a solution that will benefit the industry overall.”
The new figures are charged to cover the cost of the framework, which was established in 2014 by the federal and provincial governments, as well as the port authority, to address driver concerns, such as compensation.
Since then, the port authority has aimed to improve its truck licensing system, and the province created the Office of the B.C. Trucking Commissioner that includes a whistle-blowing mechanism and audit program that issues financial penalties to trucking companies that do not compensate drivers according to agreed wages.
Drivers are also now compensated by terminal operators when they are forced to wait at the terminal for more than the acceptable time limits. The port authority says about 9% of drivers are forced to wait beyond set limits, with more than $4 million being paid to those drivers by port terminals.
Citing a recent report, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority says the Port of Vancouver is the most efficient of any North American West Coast port, with wait times about half the average of other ports.
Trucking companies were notified of the changes to access charges Nov. 1.