TORONTO, Ont.– In response to requests from media, politicians, and other associations, the Ontario Trucking Association circulated a survey to members to collect industry views concerning transportation during the upcoming Pan Am Games. With heavy speculation and some initial forecasts suggesting the Games could in some cases add up to an additional 20 minutes or worse in delays, preliminary survey responses have so far indicated that the trucking industry is also anticipating heavy disruptions to their normal service levels.
When looking at the initial responses OTA has received, over 85% of respondents indicated that they are anticipating lengthy delays during the Games in servicing their customers. However, when asked if carriers had developed alternative plans with their customers, the numbers showed that only 47% of respondents we able to develop some sort of alternative strategy in anticipation of the Games. The remaining 53% that haven’t developed a contingency plan, cited as a reason ‘lack of customer engagement’ or their willingness to admit the Games could be an issue, the survey said.
The survey also found that some carriers have approached this issue by simply making customers aware that normal service standards may be disrupted and that past standards cannot be guaranteed during the Games. Other carriers – over 33% of respondents – indicated they have either implemented or are seriously considering implementing a surcharge during the games as a means to address the anticipated increase in congestion. While there did not appear to be a standard method to set the surcharge – be it geographically, time of day, proximity to games venues, among others – it is clear that at least the Pan Am Games will bring the issue of GTA congestion to head for many carriers and their customers.
The final report will be released in two weeks when the survey closes, the OTA said.