Three’s a crowd, but it’ll shake up transportation

FREDERICTON, N.B. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance outlined its three priorities for the transportation industry at a research forum in the Maritimes.

The theme for the 2008 annual meeting of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum underway in Fredericton, N.B., is: Shaking Up Canada’s Transportation System.

David Bradley, CEO of the CTA spoke during the forum and noted that ensuring a strong, competitive customer base featuring an efficient, predictable, and reliable supply chain was first priority.

“Truckers are in the transportation service business,” he said. “With all the issues currently conspiring to alter the volume, trajectory, and mix of freight in North America capacity of available truck service and balance of freight to, from, and within Canada, has changed drastically. In some parts of the country, there is too much capacity, in others not enough it seems.

“Where the economics of trucking is predicated on how empty a trailer is, many lanes have seen balance turned on its head. To counteract both the capacity and balance challenges many things need to occur but it is essential to the trucking industry that we have a strong and diverse customer base that can create freight volume and allow carriers a better opportunity to balance their loads.”

This is an issue, says Bradley, whether you are a trans-border carrier operating between Canada and the U.S. or a carrier operating between Alberta and the rest of the country.

His second priority would be to remove impediments from the trucking industry’s ability to contribute to a strong, competitive customer base.

“Further efficiency and productivity gains are constrained in part by aging and rigid regulation of such things as weights and dimensions, taxation of investment in business inputs, a lack of harmonization of truck safety standards, congestion due to bottlenecks on the highways, and a thickening of the border,” Bradley explained.

By accomplishing the first two priorities, Bradley said conditions would be created that would assist carriers in what is perhaps their number one priority – earn a reasonable rate of return on investment.

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