Auto Parts Sector Testimony Highlights Need to Address Driver Shortage

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Other sectors of the supply chain are echoing the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s concerns with dwindling trucking capacity throughout the economy and calling on the federal government to address the driver shortage.

At the Standing Committee on Finance earlier this month, the president of the of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association highlighted the importance of the trucking industry and the impact of the driver shortage on that sector:

“On a regular day, about 10,000 actual truck drivers pick up and deliver $50 million in goods from Canadian parts companies and deliver them to their U.S. customers. They return with a similar load from U.S. factories to Canadian automakers. Those drivers were forced to stay home, unpaid, while people who pretended to be them forced them to lose actual work,” said Flavio Volpe, president of APMA. “For volume suppliers who have the trucks picking up hundreds of thousands of dollars … a day, we’re seeing a linear relationship with the shortage of drivers – that’s before the mandates – and the potential new shortage. We thought this number could have been about 20 percent in total.”

In its own budget submission, CTA called on the federal government to address the driver shortage through an range of strategies, namely: support for Trucking Human Resources Canada’s proposal designed to provide financial assistance for new entrants and carriers bringing in new drivers; the streamlining the Temporary Foreign Worker Program similar to recent developments in the agricultural sector; stepping up national enforcement against Driver Inc.

“Addressing the driver shortage is one of the keys to bringing stability and economic recovery to the domestic and international supply chain,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The supply chain summit held earlier this year brought forth many industry stakeholders who all highlighted the need to address the labour situation in trucking, specifically, to ensure stability in the trucking industry, the customers we serve, and the economy overall.

“We are hopeful that the government would agree with leaders of the supply chain that these actions and strategies are needed to maintain the economic viability of Canada throughout the pandemic and for many decades to come.”

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