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Tight market, higher costs to keep pressure on rates: CTA Chief

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO joined the American Trucking Associations President Bill Grave...


PHOENIX, Ariz. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO joined the American Trucking Associations President Bill Graves to discuss current challenges in the North American trucking industry during the annual meeting of the Transportation Sales and Marketing Association.

With all the major components of operating costs continuing to rise and capacity tight, freight rates and other charges have no direction to go but up, David Bradley, CEO of the CTA, told delegates during his presentation.

“Carriers must always seize the opportunities provided by the marketplace, and while the Canadian economy is somewhat more fragmented these days with some sectors and regions doing well and others less so, there are still opportunities to be had,” he added.

The Canadian dollar and oil prices are the wild cards in the current economic climate Bradley said, but the driver shortage, the cost of introducing mandatory ultra-low sulphur diesel, the increased cost of buying, maintaining and fueling the 2007-2010 truck engines, the imminent implementation of new Canadian hours of service rules, enforcement of new cargo securement standards and ever-tightening border security measures are combining to put upward pressure on rates.

“It’s all about carriers needing to earn a decent return on their investment,” said Bradley, adding there is a growing view amongst carriers that competition should be about service and prices, “where price includes the true costs of compliance, and isn’t determined by who will or can be pressured into breaking or bending the rules to keep shippers happy.”


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