Canadian Shipper


CTA calls on rail to improve service, reliability

OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian trucking industry is calling on rail to get its act together so the two modes can work together and provide reliable intermodal service to shippers.

The point was made by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) in a submission to a panel formed by the federal government as part of its rail freight service review.

In a CTA survey, 82% of respondents said they were not pleased with the current level of service provided by Canada’s Class 1 railways. Common complaints included: wait times at intermodal terminals, unreliable on-time performance and the application of demurrage fees.

“Some trucking companies would like to move more freight over rail if only the conditions could be made more palatable,” said CTA CEO David Bradley. “Some who have tried have given up in frustration over service issues. If all supply chain partners work together and live up to their service obligations, the freight transportation system as a whole will become more efficient, to the benefit of Canadian manufacturers, importers, exporters and consumers.”

The CTA suggested the railways create action plans to respond to the anticipated recommendations of the panel and that improvements be overseen by the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The CTA, however, warned against imposing legislative or regulatory fixes.

“Trucking is a bastion of free market competition, and we are loathe to suggest that bureaucratic structures be put in place that would regulate the relationship between business partners,” said Bradley. 

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