CTA staff took part in the Canadian-American Border Trade Alliance (Can/Am BTA) conference in Ottawa last week, which brings together industries such as air, rail, marine and trucking, to network and discuss border-related issues with government officials and industry stakeholders. Staff from CBSA, Transport Canada, Global Affairs Canada and Public Safety Canada, among others were present.
The conference provided an opportunity for both government and stakeholders from both sides of the border to present outlooks on border and supply chain related issues, network, and exchange information.
CTA’s Lak Shoan, along with Kevin Erb, from Erb Transport, were part of a panel session to discuss the “View from Trucking” including: supply chain impacts in the trucking industry; the driver shortage; the impending adoption of ELDs; and the industry’s view of autonomous trucks, and how these issues were impacting the current and future market.
During the panel session, members of the audience asked about potential for increased safety on the road when ELD’s are introduced in Canada, the benefits of ELD’s, such as gaining supply chain efficiencies, and the ongoing issue with truck parking nationwide, which will be critical when ELD’s are finally introduced.
“It’s important for members of government to hear about issues such as labour shortages and the adoption of ELDs and the impact they are having on the trucking industry,” says Shoan, “I know that many in attendance had their eyes opened to some of the issues the industry is dealing with, and now better understand the challenges carriers face on a day-to-day basis.”
CBSA senior staff also made presentations about the importance of creating better relationships with stakeholders moving forward. CBSA indicated they are trying to become more agile and adaptable and more open to “experimentation” in trying to solve issues with industry. They also mentioned their commitment to the Secure Corridor or “green lane” pilot soon taking place at the Ambassador bridge, and potentially expanding it nationwide.
CBSA also indicated their goal is to ensure that border processes would become as invisible as possible in the future, and that getting rid of paper processes was high on their list of priorities. They also mentioned enhancing trusted trader programs, the use of “big data” and advanced analytics, and technology such as RFID to process trade as being very important.