CTA Pre-Budget Spotlight – Border Investments Critical to Supply Chain Fluidity 

As part of its extensive pre-budget submission to the Government of Canada earlier this month, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) highlighted the need to invest in border infrastructure, technology and staffing, which are needed to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving, 24/7 supply chain.

Some of the items outlined by CTA to support greater cross-border supply chain fluidity include both long-standing and emerging issues impacting many fleets in our sector:

  • Border Staffing: The need for additional staffing at our ports of entry will allow for cross-border goods and services to move as efficiently as possible, especially when unexpected interruptions or delays occur at the border.
  • Secure Corridor Pilot: The planned expansion of the Secure Corridor (SC) pilot at the Ambassador Bridge to other land ports of entry across Canada over the next few years is welcomed by the CTA. The pilot has yielded exceptional results by significantly reducing border crossing times and streamlining the border crossing experience. Expediting the expansion of this technology is strongly supported.
  • Permanent In-Transit Program: Opening access for Canadian carriers to use in-transits is necessary and can be done with modest investments by digitizing CBSA’s systems to move away from outdated paper processes and level the playing field for Canadian fleets.
  • Sufferance Warehouse Funding and Modernization: There is a lack of staffing and resources available to allow for the opening of additional warehouse locations. The Government of Canada should also re-examine previous warehouse modernization proposals for implementation as soon as feasible.
  • Addressing Delays in Food/Agriculture Inspections: Carriers that regularly transport food and agriculture products have stated that delays in Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspections at some high-volume ports of entry, continues to create bottlenecks. Additional resources for staffing and expansion of operating hours are regularly highlighted as solutions by fleets.
  • IT Infrastructure: Investments to improve the IT infrastructure being used by CBSA must be made to ensure the frequency and duration of these highly disruptive systems outages are mitigated to the greatest extent possible.

“The livelihood of our country depends on cross-border trade, and we believe that strategic investments into border infrastructure, emerging technologies and programs will create greater border resiliency and provide significant dividends for the economy, consumers and our customers that rely on timely cross-border goods and services daily,” says CTA’s Lak Shoan.

Relatedly, CTA continues to raise concerns from members regarding additional trade barriers and impediments, including the issuing of administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) to highly compliant carriers. The Alliance has also outlined the need to modernize the penalty amounts and other characteristics of the current regime, including the development of a formal volumetrics framework. Further updates on this topic will be provided in the coming weeks.

For a full copy of the CTA pre-budget submission, CTA member carriers can contact their provincial trucking association.

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