YARMOUTH, N.S. – Truckers in Atlantic Canada are not pleased with the vessel Bay Ferries and the Nova Scotia government selected to run between Yarmouth N.S. and Portland, Maine as it will not accommodate commercial trucks.
Last week, it was announced that the new vessel is a former US navy ship called the CAT.
Though Mark MacDonald, Bay Ferries president, said the catamaran ferry can hold commercial trucks, it will not take them since city officials in Portland said they do not want more trucks on their streets, according to a CBC report.
With no trucks allowed the new ferry, trucking companies that relied on the service from Nova Scotia to Maine will suffer by having to hire more drivers and adjusting their operations, said Jean-Marc Picard, executive director for the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association in an interview with Truck News.
“It’s certainly disappointing,” he said of the ferry announcement. “Because obviously this means there is one less options for carriers in the area. There’s certain carriers that will be affected more than others because of the products they haul, like seafood. So hopefully this won’t put them out of certain markets in the US…Now carriers will have to plan accordingly to make sure they can still service that market going forward.”
Picard added that the announcement that no transport trucks would be allowed on the vessel was a surprise to the trucking industry.
In addition, it was announced last week that ferry services in the Maritimes were included in the federal budget with an infrastructure investment of $51.9 million. This investment will help ferries operating between Wood Islands, P.E.I., and Caribou, N.S., and the CMTA ferry service from Souris, P.E.I., to Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Que. and Saint John, N.B., and Digby, N.S.
Truckers in the area have been frustrated with the ferry situation in Nova Scotia as far back as October of 2015, when the province said it had chosen Bay Ferries as the candidate to operate the route. At that time, government said the company had 45 days to choose a ship. The deadline came and went without a ship being named.
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