Borderlands: CanadaNews

Maple Leaf Motoring: ‘Daily pains’ of construction logistics inspired GoFor

Founder’s frustrations with building material deliveries helped inspire Canadian final mile startup, which recently expanded into the United States.

Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: Digging into last-mile startup GoFor; Humboldt Broncos families say Alberta shouldn’t loosen driver training rules; and Ottawa airport trails counter-drone system.  

Brad Rollo founded Ottawa-based GoFor to help solve a problem he faced running a construction company – getting building materials delivered. 

“It was born from my daily pains in the industry,” Rollo said. “I’d sometimes have to send my most skilled guys for pickups and lose a ton of productivity.”

GoFor provides an alternative to scrambling to arrange a delivery. It offers on-demand deliveries via an app – especially designed for the needs of the industry. 

Users can book a range of vehicles including cars, cargo vans and heavy trucks, and the pricing is transparent for users.

“We’ve even done 24-foot flatbeds,” Rollo said. 

The startup already is in more than 15 markets in Canada, and recently launched in the U.S – in Charlotte – with the help of an investment from the Mexican building materials company CEMEX.  Gofor plans to continue its U.S. growth with launches planned for Dallas in October and Tampa in November.

GoFor contracts with drivers for the deliveries, and aims to have them completed within two hours.

“As soon as you put your order in, we find a driver,” Rollo said.

Humboldt Broncos families rebuke Alberta for considering looser driver training rules

Family members of those injured and killed in the Humboldt Broncos hockey team’s bus crash are criticizing Alberta officials for considering relaxing some established truck driver driving regulations. 

Alberta’s provincial government is looking into exempting certain drivers including farmers from mandatory training requirements in response to industry concerns that it could be too costly. 

“These people are driving the same roads that we are every day. They’re driving basically a killing machine if it’s not operated properly,” Chris Joseph, whose son Jaxon was killed in the 2018 crash, told Global News.

Alberta’s mandatory training for truckers was prompted in part by 2018 crash that killed 16 people traveling on the Broncos bus in Saskatchewan. 

A semi-truck collided with the Broncos bus after blowing through a stop sign. The driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in the case. 

Authorities discovered more than 70 violations of provincial and federal regulations after reviewing his logbook. 

Counter-drone system getting tested at Ottawa airport 

A promotional video for Qinetiq’s Obsidian counter-drone system.

Ottawa International Airport will trial an anti-drone system designed to detect and track unmanned aerial vehicles. 

The airport will use the Obsidian Counter UAS System from Qinetiq, which employs micro doppler radar, the Ottawa International Airport Authority announced on October 2. 

Qinetiq said its system can differentiate between drones and birds in addition to other wildlife. 

The system “specifically designed to meet the current and forecast threat of drone incursion upon critical national infrastructure, including daily operations in complex environments,” Robert Aubé, managing director of Qinetiq Canada said in a statement.

The proliferation of small low-cost units for consumers has brought an increase in incidents at airports worldwide, bring disruptions to operations and dangers. Ottawa airport alone reported five incidents involving drones in 2018

Transport Candanas recorded 121 drone-related incidents on its Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Report System, CADORS, this year.

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at