Maritime voice takes chair at CTA

OTTAWA — Paul Easson, president of Eassons Transport, has taken over as chairman of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, succeeding Alberta’s Bruno Muller of Caron Transport who had served out his two-year term.

The head of the Berwick, N.S.-based carrier was elected to the position during the CTA’s annual general meeting.

Easson is a former chairman of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, and a recipient of the APTA’s Service to Industry Award. He is taking over the CTA chairmanship at a very challenging time for the trucking industry.

“The major immediate challenge as I see it is over-capacity,” he says. “That is really depressing the marketplace virtually everywhere in North America.”

Over the medium and longer term, however, he says the major challenges the industry will have to contend with include attracting and retaining quality people, environmental sustainability, and shifting trade patterns away from the U.S.

“Of course, being a family business, I see succession planning to be a major challenge for many family-owned trucking companies,” he adds.

Easson – an accountant by training – has worked in the family trucking company, which was started by his father in 1945 hauling apples from Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley to other locations in the province, for over 25 years.

Today, with offices in Berwick; St. John’s, Nfld.; Moncton, N.B.; and Toronto; the company operates a fleet of over 150 reefer trailers, more than 60 dry vans and 160 tractors, serving truckload destinations to all points in Canada and the U.S.

An LTL service is also available from Toronto and Montreal, to Atlantic Canada, for dry, fresh and frozen shipments. The company remains very much a family enterprise with Paul’s brothers, Peter and Tom, both holding senior positions.

He believes that CTA already does, but can continue to, assist carriers in each of the industry’s challenging areas, not only through its advocacy efforts, but by creating a forum for carriers from across the country to develop the tools and best practices that will help not only individual carriers but the industry as a whole to become better able to manage the challenges it faces.

“I am also a great believer not only in terms of what CTA can do for the industry, but what the individual members of the Board of Directors and the provincial associations can do for CTA,” he says. “It is imperative that all board members understand that by serving on the CTA board that they have a responsibility to CTA, not just their provincial association. I am looking forward to working with the board and the staff to encourage that engagement.”

The executive committee named to positions alongside Easson for the 2010-2012 term include:

First vice-chairman: Mark Seymour, president of Kriska Transportation in Prescott, Ont.
Second vice-chairman: Don Streuber, president of Bison Transport in Winnipeg.
Secretary: Scott Smith, president of J.D. Smith and Sons in Concord, Ont.
Treasurer: Gene Orlick, president of Orlicks Transport in Calgary, Alta.

The at-large members of the Executive Committee are:

Gord Peddle, president of D.D. Transport in Mount Pearl, Nfld.
Ed Malysa, executive vice-president & COO of Trimac Transportation Services in Calgary.
Jean-Claude Fortin of JE Fortin in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que.
Gord Smith, president of Manitoulin Transport in Gore Bay, Ont.

In addition, the past-chairs of CTA, who are still active in the business and remaining on the CTA Executive Committee are:

Bruno Muller, president of Caron Transportation Systems in Sherwood Park, Alta.
Claude Robert, president of Groupe Robert in Boucherville, Que
Evan MacKinnon, president & CEO of MacKinnon Transport in Guelph, Ont.
Daniel Einwechter, chairman and CEO of Challenger Motor Freight in Cambridge, Ont.

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