Maple Leaf Motoring: Will ELDs end cheap hauls to the Yukon?

Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian trucking. This week, the effect of ELDs on domestic routes, job growth continues in transport and an Ontario carrier adds a location near Chicago.

When Canada’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate takes effect, likely in 2020 or 2021, the trucking industry will already have been well-versed in ELDs. Transport Canada estimated that 80,000 of the 142,000 affected trucks will already have required ELDs because of the earlier U.S. mandate. So what about the 62,000 trucks that don’t cross the border?

Corey Darbyson, director of Transport DSquare, a Montreal-based trucking company, suggested that ELDs would have the biggest impact on long-haul remote routes, where cheating on hours make it possible to offer lower rates.  

“No going to the Yukon cheaply anymore,” Darbyson said during the Journal of Commerce’s Canada Trade conference in Toronto on June 4. “Certainly remote areas are going to be more affected.”

DSquare, which does a lot of business on Canada’s East Coast, began rolling out ELDs slowly in the last quarter. Darbyson suggested that the effect on capacity on major corridors such as a Toronto-Montreal would be minimal.

As for the ELD mandate itself, the final version of Canada’s regulation is expected to come later in June.

Transport employment grows in strong jobs report

Statistics Canada Labor Market Survey, May 2019

Employment in transportation and warehousing grew by 1.1 percent in May amid continued strength in Canada’s labor market.

Figures released by Statistics Canada on June 7 showed that sector, which includes the trucking industry, added 10,000 jobs, largely in Ontario and Alberta. Since May 2018, transportation and warehousing jobs have increased by 5.6 percent.

May’s gains happened as Canada’s unemployment fell to 5.4 percent, the lowest rate since 1976.

In contrast, transportation and logistics employment has declined for two consecutive quarters in the U.S.

Highlight Motor Group opens new facility near Chicago

Ontario-based Highlight Motor Group has expanded its U.S. operation with a new facility in Aurora, Illinois. The location has 100,000 square feet of warehouse space and 15 loading docks.

Announced on June 3, Highlight’s facility adds to locations in California and New Jersey. It will have daily departures and arrivals from Toronto, Montreal and other Canadian cities.

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.

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