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Closer shipper-carrier relationships must enter political arena

TORONTO, Ont. -- Shippers and carriers must not only work closer together to overcome the daunting transportation c...

TORONTO, Ont. — Shippers and carriers must not only work closer together to overcome the daunting transportation challenges facing them over the coming years but they must take those relationships into the political arena, Transportation Media editorial director Lou Smyrlis told members of the Toronto chapter of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport North America this week.

Carriers and shippers must work together to ensure their voice is heard in Washington and Ottawa. There are several issues that shippers and carriers must do a better job at addressing together, Smyrlis said in his presentation on transportation trends to the institute’s annual gathering.

"Having to comply with stricter border security regulations is an unavoidable part of doing business in the U.S. following 9/11. But that doesn’t mean carriers and shippers must suffer through regulatory proposals that are out of touch with the way transborder commerce operates," Smyrlis said r

Smyrlis said carriers and shippers must also work together to address the acute under-investment in the country’s infrastructure.

"A quarter century of under-investment is crippling Canada’s public infrastructure, yet the funding necessary to address the problem exceeds what most governments could viably foot under the status quo," Smyrlis said.

He pointed to a report published last year by the TD Financial group which placed the investment gap the accumulated annual deficit between the amount needed to properly maintain or replace existing infrastructure as well as support growth and the money actually spent at somewhere between $50 billion and $125 billion. The Toronto area alone, the report stated, suffers an annual estimated loss of about $2 billion from congestion and delays of goods shipping.

"And nothing scares business out of an area faster that loss of productivity," Smyrlis said.

Smyrlis’ speech also included highlights from the recently completed Transportation Buying Trends research conducted by Canadian Transportation & Logistics (a member of the Transportation Media Group), in partnership with the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association and CITT.

Smyrlis is next scheduled to address the Toronto Trucking Association on transportation trends this week.

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