Shippers asked to share the load

TORONTO, (Dec. 4, 2003) — The costs of delays due to upcoming hours of service rules in the U.S. should not be absorbed on the backs of truck drivers, some of Canada’s largest shippers were told this week.

About 100 members from the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, a large shippers group, were in attendance for the half-day seminar hosted by CITA. Invited to the seminar were the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Ontario Trucking Association who explained to shippers the effects new HOS regulations and border security rules will have on the transportation industry. Together, both initiatives will compound the situation, CITA was told.

The shippers were told that new rules requiring drivers to log all work hours, including non-driving hours, will reduce the average driver’s shift and result in as much as a 10 per cent loss in productivity. The CTA and the OTA are asking CITA’s help in reducing dock wait times and expediting the loading/unloading process as much as possible.

The hours of service problems for the industry are compounded by the consequences of delays at the border, Ron Lennox, CTA’s vice-president of regulatory affairs said. The costs of some of these measures, including electronic pre-notification, hazardous materials credentialing, and pre-clearance programs, should be absorbed in-part by the shipping industry. The shippers were also encouraged to get on-board with programs like Free and Secure Trade (FAST).

“The co-operation of shippers and receivers is critical in terms of the mitigating the productivity and efficiency impacts of the various new rules and in moderating the inevitable freight rate increases that must result,” CTA CEO David Bradley told the audience. “Carriers need you to work with them to reduce the amount of time drivers spend performing non-driving tasks — they must get in and out of facilities quickly. We also need you to ensure that all border crossing procedures are followed and that shippers take advantage of programs like FAST. The costs of delays cannot be borne exclusively by carriers, nor can they be absorbed on the backs of the drivers.”

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