BCTA tips off shippers to safe carriers

LANGLEY, B.C. — A series of flyers released by the B.C. Trucking Association is designed to help shippers identify and hire safe, reliable trucking companies in B.C.

BCTA created the flyers with input from trucking companies, to encourage shippers to better understand the significance of their own choices in the transportation process.

Shippers who ask trucking companies the right questions may discover warning flags about potential problems, says the association, and the flyers recommend questions to ask before hiring.

“Inexperienced shippers may not know what to ask or may not feel comfortable asking,” says Paul Landry, president and CEO of the BCTA. “Companies worth the price care about a customer’s shipment and the safety of their drivers and vehicles.”

The flyers are available free at BCTA’s website and cover the following topics:
1. Rates, Surcharges and Accessorials
2. Identifying a Safe Trucking Company
3. Trucking Company Partnership Tips
4. Regulatory Requirements

“People may forget that hiring a service provider is different from buying a product,” says Landry.

“Shippers can’t just compare services by price,” he adds. “Cheap rates aren’t a good deal if the trucking company has no safety plan, is underinsured or promises incredible delivery times – meaning it could be ignoring everything from speed limits to laws covering drivers’ work hours.”

While trucking companies have a direct responsibility for road safety, Landry explains, another group also plays an indirect but equally important role – businesses that choose which trucking companies to hire.

“Shippers can range from a small home-based business that occasionally uses a courier to a large, sophisticated corporation with hourly or daily full truckloads of goods being transported to and from hundreds of locations across North America,” notes Landry. “What shippers – regardless of size – have in common is the need to identify and contract with a safe, reliable trucking company.”

While the flyers are relatively new, carefully picking a safe carrier is a message the BCTA has been spreading for a while now.

“Shippers can do themselves – and others on the road – a big favour by protecting their goods all the way to their final destination,” adds Landry. “And to do this, their best bet is to put their money on a partner that cares about and invests in road safety with safe, qualified drivers, well maintained vehicles, and respect for and compliance with regulations. We’ll all benefit when shippers make smart choices too.”

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