BRANTFORD, Ont. — Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) president, David Bradley, was the keynote speaker at the 50th anniversary of the Brantford Traffic Club earlier this week. In his remarks, Bradley said that “Fifty years is a significant milestone and is indicative of the commitment and feeling of community that makes the transportation such a remarkable industry.”
Bradley said that despite record high fuel prices, a surging Canadian dollar, and weakness in some key industrial sectors, the Ontario trucking industry continues to weather the storm. “We may not have had as strong a year in terms of pricing and volumes as in 2003-04, but all things considered 2005 was not a bad year.” He also commended the trucking industry for coping with a spate of new regulations on everything from border security to new U.S. Hours-of-Service regulations.”
Bradley also has a cautiously optimistic outlook for 2006. “The fuel and currency situation make things somewhat cloudy, but the economic signals are good,” he said. “Capacity in the industry should be tight as the economy grows and the shortage of truck drivers worsens. That creates an impetus for increases in freight rates, if carriers avail themselves of the opportunity.”
“Profit is not a dirty word. If shippers want to continue to receive quality service from a carrier whose operations and people are committed to safety, security and meeting customer needs, then they should expect to pay a fair price for that service.”
Bradley said there is no shortage of regulatory issues on the horizon for 2006. The OTA is pushing the provincial government to make the activation of speed limiters (restricting a truck to no more than 105 km/hr) for all trucks that operate in the province – regardless of where in North America they come from – mandatory. In addition, new federal Hours-of-Service regulations are expected to be adopted and a commission is looking at changes to the Canada Labour Code provisions for overtime pay and contractor status.
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