TORONTO, Ont. – The OTA has rolled out a new survey called Operation UpGrade that allows drivers and carriers the chance to reveal how shippers and consignees treat truckers during pickups and deliveries.
The OTA says the survey will help it identify the strongest and weakest links in the supply chain.
Upon taking the survey, carriers and drivers assign a score to the shipper facility based on how they or their drivers are treated and send them to the detention hall or become of member of the carriers’ honour roll.
According to the OTA, the survey is to raise awareness of truck driver treatment across the industry while recognizing preferred shippers. The OTA said this in a release about the survey: “The treatment of professional truck drivers at shipper and consignee facilities has been an issue for a long time. Waste in the system such as loading/unloading delays at yards, detaining drivers who have limited hours available and general maltreatment of drivers (such as denying them access to washrooms or not permitting them to run their engine systems in the winter while they wait) chases drivers out of the industry.”
OTA vice-president Stephen Laskowski said: “The industry is facing a growing, chronic driver shortage. Drivers have told us one of the contributing factors to the shortage is the poor treatment of drivers – whether they are able to use shipper/consignee facilities, whether they are loaded or unloaded in a reasonable timeframe, and how they are generally treated at these facilities.”
The association added according to Conference Board of Canada, the driver shortage could grow to a gap of 33,000 drivers by 2020.
“It’s a matter of respect for drivers and for shippers it’s a matter of capacity,” Laskowski said. “Carriers will listen to their drivers if they want to retain them. Companies that treat drivers with respect will be the preferred shippers and they’ll get the service.”
The OTA encourages shippers and drivers to take the survey as often as possible to nominate good shippers and poor shippers. The association will publicly recognize those preferred shippers on the honour roll, and privately education those in the detention hall.
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