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Maple Leaf Motoring – Could CBP redeployments cause delays at Canadian border?

Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian trucking. This week – potential delays at the U.S.-Canada border, Ontario tests higher speed limits and Titanium buys back stock.

Border delays feared after U.S. border officers redeployed

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has temporarily reassigned officers away from border points with Canada in response to the increasing migrant crisis on the southern border.

CBP reassigned 731 officers in the U.S., though it would not say how many came from land-crossings at the Canadian border.

“Facilitation of legitimate trade and travel remains a priority for CBP at its 328 ports of entry nationwide. While the current Southwest border security and humanitarian crisis is impacting CBP operations, we are working to mitigate the effects as much as possible,” CBP spokesperson Michael McCarthy said on May 17.

Livingston International, Canada’s largest customs broker and also a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), issued a notice on May 17, warning that redeployments would likely result in delays.

“Travelers and commercial vehicles use the same land border crossings, the same infrastructure. It doesn’t allow for a lot of backlogs. We’d see cars and trucks lined for miles along highways.”

Candace Sider, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for North America, Livingston International

Candace Sider, Livingston’s vice president of government and regulatory affairs for North America, said the risk for a border backlog would intensify as the summer travel season picks up.

“Travelers and commercial vehicles use the same land border crossings, the same infrastructure. It doesn’t allow for a lot of backlogs. We’d see cars and trucks lined for miles along highways,” Sider said.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said it has been monitoring the situation closely, and said that its members have yet to report any additional border delays.

“So far it’s been business as usual,” said Lak Shoan, director of CTA’s Policy and Industry Awareness Programs.

The CTA said it is taking part in weekly phone calls with the CBP, and plans to bring up any issues should they arise.  

Shoan noted that delays put truckers at risk for maxing out their hours of service.

“If a driver does run out of hours, they’re going to be stranded there at the border,”  Shoan said.

Ontario tests higher speed limits – but not for trucks

A sign indicates the 100 kilometers-per-hour speed limit on Highway 402 in Ontario. It will increase to 110 kph in September. Photo: Ken Lund via Wikimedia Commons

Ontario, Canada’s largest province, will raise the speed limit on three highways from 100 to 110 kilometers per hour – or from 62 to 68 mph. Trucks, however, will not be included in the new limits, according to TruckNews. They will remain electronically limited to 105 kph.

Titanium to buy back stock

Ontario-based Titanium Transportation (TSX-V:TTR) plans to buy back up to 1.8 million shares of its stock over the course of the next year. “The company believes that from time to time the market price of its common shares may not fully reflect the underlying value of the company’s business, and that the repurchase of its common shares at those times would be in the best interests of its shareholders.”  The company reported first quarter earnings in April. While its logistics business declined, its trucking segment continued producing solid growth.

Canadian government eyes distracted driver training in national standard

The Canadian government has signaled its interest in including distracted driving as part of a national standard for truck driver training. It recently released a request for proposals for developing a training module for combating distracted driving that could be included in mandatory training standards slated for 2020. Canadian Trucking Alliance President Stephen Laskowski welcomed the move and said it “would ensure all new entrants coming into our sector understand the safety consequences of distracted driving behavior.”

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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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