VPA toughens container hauling licence rules

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Port Authority will introduce stronger requirements to its mandatory Truck Licensing System on March 27, 2006.

The new rules include more rigorous safety, security and environmental standards that will apply to all container trucks and container truck operations at Lower Mainland ports, the VPA said.

With support from Transport Canada, The VPA implemented a licence provision in order to end a six-week strike by independent container haulers servicing the ports in the Lower Mainland last year.

VanPort licence rules to address safety, security

For hire-carrier contracting the 1,200 owner-ops — who were being represented by the ad-hoc group Vancouver Container Truck Association — were forced to sign the VPA licence memorandum if they wanted to be allowed access to the ports. The agreement required carriers to adhere to new compensation provisions laid out by a government mediator.

Container truck operators will now have 60 days to comply with changes the VPA says are designed to improve the flow of container truck traffic on lower mainland roadways, reduce wait times at truck gates, reinforce safe driver behaviour, and reduce emissions.

Chief among the new license provisions is mandatory compliance with container terminal reservation systems. Also, operators will be required to take advantage of extended hours of operation at terminal truck gates.

The new licensing requirements also include mandatory participation in a truck monitoring and vehicle location program, disclosure and sharing of vehicle and driver safety information, enhanced environmental and safety standards, and compliance with designated truck routes.

“It is critical that we do everything possible to ensure stability in the container trucking sector. Last year’s dispute shone a national spotlight on the importance of the port to Canada’s retail sector and exporters,” said Captain Gordon Houston, president and CEO of the Authority.

The new TLS licensing requirements will take effect on Thursday, May 25, preceded by a 60-day transition period beginning Monday, March 27. Operators can access the new TLS at www.portvancouver.com after March 27.

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