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Maple Leaf Motoring: New load board aims to disrupt the Canadian freight market

Photo: The Canadian Load Board.

Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: Canada getting a new load board, British Columbia container truckers see rate bump, and Canadian Trucking Alliance backs Conservative trucking proposal.

Canada’s is set to get a new load board that aims to strengthen relationships in the freight market. 

Slated to launch July 8, The Canadian Load Board is taking aim square at TransCore, whose Loadlink dominates the market. 

“I don’t really think of it as a load board,” said founder and CEO Aidan Slack-Watkins. “I like to think of it as an integrated network of business transactions to make it easier to work together.” 

Slack-Watkins, a student at Western University in London, Ontario, said he incorporated the lessons from working at a third-party logistics provider. 

Key to the Canadian Load Board are features that show carriers’ track record and preferences for loads. It also features an integrated bidding system and the ability to manage loads. 

Slack-Watkins said he sees this helping leveling the playing field for smaller trucking companies.

“It has a strong focus on maintaining relationships,” Slack-Watkins said. “For smaller trucking companies, even for bigger ones, it’s really important to find brokers who you work consistently with.”

Slack-Watkins is launching the board with a price tag C$98 (a Canadian dollar equals C$0.76) per month, with discounts for monthly and annual commitments.

The Canadian Load Board has about 50 pre-launch partners, which should ensure that it launches with an active market place. It will only handle loads originating in Canada, though it will include cross-border loads. 

Slack-Watkins acknowledged that Loadlink is “really the big man on the block,” but was eager to challenge its dominance of the market.

But the challenge is a formidable one considering that TransCore shares the same owner as DAT, Roper Technologies (NYSE: ROP).  

Slack-Watkins is still in the process of bootstrapping The Canadian Load Board, but is actively courting investors. 

British Columbia container truckers to get a new fee

A truck with a container at the Port of Vancouver. Photo: Shutterstock

British Columbia container truckers will get paid for a fee for trips without containers as of July 1. 

The C$25 (a Canadian dollar equals US$0.76) is part by the government to improve pay and prevent labor disruptions for the drivers working at the province’s ports, including Vancouver. 

The fee is being instituted by a special commissioner who will oversee container trucking rates and fuel surcharges as of July 1. 

“In setting rates, the commissioner will be guided by the principles of balancing fair compensation for drivers and ensuring the ongoing competitiveness of the sector,” the provincial government said in a statement. 

Canadian Trucking Alliance weighs in on Conservative environmental plan

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) applauded the Conservative Party for supporting a charge to rules in Canada and the U.S. that forbid the repositioning of empty trailers. 

The Conservatives mention the change in its 33-page environmental plan, which it released ahead of the October elections. 

“This proposal shows there are tremendous options to reduce the trucking industry’s carbon footprint that also improve the efficiency of the supply chain, making U.S.-Canada trade even stronger,” said Lak Shoan, the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s public policy director. 

The CTA noted that the current rules result in “drivers bobtailing to the next facility is inefficient and wasteful, resulting in millions of extra miles driven, added driver wait time and logistical issues for fleets.”

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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 [email protected].