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FedEx shipping survey indicates what’s on the mind of exporters

TORONTO, Ont. -- FedEx Canada has released a shipping report providing insight into the attitudes of shippers in fo...

TORONTO, Ont. — FedEx Canada has released a shipping report providing insight into the attitudes of shippers in four Canadian regions.

The report surveyed shippers in: The Atlantic Provinces; Quebec; Ontario; and the Western Provinces. The survey found that while all exporters find the U.S. market to be important, it is most important to shippers in Ontario and to a lesser extent, Western Canada.

While all Canadian exporters claimed to face delays in getting their products across the border, the impact was more of a concern in Quebec. Ontario exporters were the least likely to find the process of shipping across the border to be difficult, according to the survey.

Quebec said delays in shipping to the U.S. cost them twice as much as their counterparts in Ontario claimed. Ontario companies said they are more concerned about damage to their reputation than the monetary losses, the survey found.

The survey also found awareness of the FAST certification process is lacking across the country. In Ontario, only 43 per cent are aware of FAST while in Atlantic Canada, 39 per cent are aware, in Western Canada, 35 per cent are aware and in Quebec, 34 per cent are aware.

When they learned about FAST, a significant percentage of respondents said carrier-compliance will impact their decision when choosing a service provider. In Quebec, 44 per cent said they were greatly influenced by this fact while in the Maritimes 42 per cent agreed. Thirty-two per cent of Ontario respondents and 30 per cent of Westerners also said FAST program membership would impact their choice when choosing a service provider, according to the survey.

Customers in the Maritimes and in Quebec found shipping to the U.S. to be more difficult than companies in Ontario and the Western provinces, according to the survey. Most respondents attributed the difficulty and delays to tight regulations and paperwork requirements.

About 36 per cent of Quebec-based respondents said at least half their shipments to the U.S. are delayed while in Ontario only 20 per cent said half their U.S.-bound shipments are delayed. Atlantic and Western respondents said their shipments to the U.S. were delayed at least half the time 30 and 27 per cent respectively.

One-third of Ontario respondents said they are worried about the impact border delays have on their reputation. Nineteen per cent of Maritime respondents, 16 per cent of those in Quebec and 22 per cent of Western companies surveyed felt the same.

In Quebec, companies suggest border delays cost their companies about $1,211 per month. The number is just $112 in Atlantic Canada, $557 in Ontario and $137 in the West, according to respondents.

The survey also found that less than half of the businesses that export to the U.S. are aware of changes in government requirements that will be implemented this year.

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