TORONTO (Feb. 1, 2000) — The leader of CanadaÕs largest trucking association warned of service disruptions unless shippers begin paying “fair and reasonable freight rates that reflect sky-rocketing diesel fuel costs.”
“No one wants to see [strikes or shutdown actions],” said David Bradley, president of the Toronto-based Ontario Trucking Association. “But, there is a lot of pressure on the industry right now, and many carriers and drivers are frustrated and overwhelmed.”
The rack price of diesel fuel in Toronto (including fuel taxes) was 33.6 cents per litre on Feb. 8, 1999. Today it was 60.7 cents per litre. Further increases are expected in the days ahead.
Motor carriers have been unable to consistently apply fuel surcharges on their freight. One result, Bradley said, is that carriers “canÕt pay their independent contractors enough to make it worthwhile keeping their trucks on the road.”
Bradley said reports of possible strike or shutdown action by independent truckers emanating out of Quebec and Ontario should be taken seriously, adding that “[shippers] can avoid service disruption if they are fair with their carriers now.”
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, the industryÕs national lobby group, will attempt to speak about the issue with CanadaÕs larger groups of shippers, such as the Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters and the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, on Thursday.
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