Expect changes to carrier rate structures, says trucking chief

by Canadian Shipper

David Bradley, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Ontario Trucking Association, says a correction in trucking rate structures is well underway, with carriers looking at the best opportunity they have had since deregulation to improve their financial performance.

"The dynamics of the industry are certainly changing," he says, "There are still many challenges such as high insurance and fuel costs, border security, new hours of service rules, etc., but the industry’s ability and resolve to be compensated for those costs is improved."

A lack of capacity brought about by high demand and a shortage of drivers is the major impetus for change, says Bradley.

"The markets work in slow and disjointed ways, but the mood in the marketplace is more accepting of rate increases, surcharges and accessorial charges. The reality is that the trucking industry can no longer afford to absorb all its cost increases. Nor should it have to. Moreover, our drivers expect to be paid a fair wage for their work and they are demanding that they be paid for delay times and who can blame them. Remember, they are not only integral to a carrier’s business — they are also integral to the shippers’ businesses. Who else knows your products, your logistics systems and your customers better than the truck drivers that move your goods?"

While co-operation between shippers and carriers to improve the efficiency of the loading or unloading process, for example, has been good, notes Bradley, "Most shippers seem to have an understanding of the situation and many are working with their carriers to improve efficiency and productivity together, but there is still a long way to go. More and more the trucking industry is realizing it’s its turn."

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