GTA cartage disruption avoided – for now

VAUGHAN, Ont. — Labor disruption in the Greater Toronto Area’s intermodal network appears to have been averted, at least for the moment.

Disgruntled owner/operators met with stakeholders yesterday and George Kuhn of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association reports "a good dialogue has been established."

About 35 people attended the meeting, including representatives from marine carriers, freight forwarders, the Cartage Owners Association, importers and exporters.

They learned about the "rather bleak financial situation owner/drivers are confronted with today by facing the doubling and tripling of Insurance rates, maintenance costs, parts cost, longer waiting times at terminals, rather taxing reservation processes at CN and, last but not least, rapidly rising fuel costs; as we are all aware when filling up our own cars. As a result, the community has quite a bit of understanding and empathy for owner/drivers and their need to increase compensation levels to an acceptable level," Kuhn commented this morning in his e-bulletin to CIFFA members.

But he added: "Nevertheless, freight forwarders and steamship lines made it clear that it is the final user (the importer/exporter), respectively the market place, that will determine those levels."

Another meeting has now been called for the Cartage Owners Association and ‘The Truckers Voice’ representatives to negotiate compensation levels that can possibly be accepted by the transport community. A follow-up meeting will then be held by that group and the user community present at yesterday’s meeting.

"All parties accepted the fact that such a process cannot take place overnight and that some time will have to be granted to make it all happen. We were, however, cautioned by the Owner/Driver representatives that a resolution must be forthcoming within weeks, rather than months to avoid a walk-out!," Kuhn comments.

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