Industry meets on CN Brampton

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ETOBICOKE, Ont. Nearly 200 Intermodal professionals gathered last night to try to come up with a solution to excessive wait times at CN’s Brampton terminal.

The crowd that gathered at the Holiday Inn on Dixon Rd. included steamship lines, freight forwarders, carriers and drivers.

Attendance was well above what organizers said they expected, but after four hours of continuous debate, the group achieved nothing other than forming an impromptu working committee and a preliminary proposal to pay carriers $150 to pick up from the CN yard, $100 of which would go to the driver immediately.

Either the freight forwarder or the steamship lines would be responsible for ponying up the funds to carriers who agree to pick up from the CN terminal.

The proposal met with a mixed response from truck drivers, some of whom wanted to charge an hourly rate for waiting times after the first hour at the terminal.

Be that as it may, the nine-person committee (formed during the meeting) opted for the flat rate fee because, they said, it would be easier to get the steamship companies on board with a flat rate fee.

The committee made up of representatives from the drivers (two), carriers (two), freight forwarders (two) and steamship lines (three) generated the flat rate proposal during a ten-minute break.

But when the committee tried to present the proposal to those in attendance and get them to vote on in, audience members felt it was too early. Steamline and freight forwarding professionals, however, agreed to bring the flat fee proposal back to their companies for approval.

In the interim, carriers at the meeting appeared to agree almost unanimously to boycott CN’s terminal, but wanted the drivers to agree to service the customers going through CP lines instead.

Drivers, for their part, held strong in their beliefs that they will not go back to work until they have a signed contract saying they will be compensated for their time spent waiting in the rail yard.

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