The trucking industry in Canada received the much-needed boost for its growth largely at the time of the Canadian war. The transportation system of Canada was reeling under excessive burden in this period, primarily due to exceptional demand for raw resources and manufactured goods such as vehicles, ships, aircraft, etc.
The trucking industry came to the rescue in the war efforts through flexible and highly efficient transportation of commercial goods. Subsequently, the trucking industry became a vital component of the Canadian economy with the support of improvements and expansion in the highway system. In the present times, the trucking industry in Canada has turned out to be a savior during the COVID-19 crisis. A closer look at the role of truckers in the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak can showcase their current situation.
Trucking Industry Keeps the Country Running
According to Global News, long haul truck drivers in Canada are the saving grace for millions of people in Canada and the US. Hailed as ‘essential workers’ in this time of crisis, truck drivers are playing a crucial role in keeping supply chains open.
The President of the Alberta Motor Transport Association, Chris Nash, stated that trucking and transportation industry is very crucial for delivery of medical and sanitation supplies.
In addition, he also emphasized on the need for trucking industry to deliver emergency items such as food and water to every community in the province.
Recognition of the Needs of Truckers during COVID-19 Pandemic
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) called for treatment of truck drivers as “essential services” on March 13, 2020. According to a statement of the CTA in Truck News, self-quarantine for drivers leaving and entering the country without testing positive for COVID-19 can have serious repercussions on the economy. In addition, the statement by CTA also reflected on the importance of trucking services for ensuring public safety of Canadians in these times of crisis.
Responding to the call of CTA, the director general of Transport Canada’s Multimodal and Road Safety Programs, Michael DeJong, signed the Essential Freight Transport Exemption. On March 24, the exemption applicable to all provinces and territories in Canada, allowed hours-of-service (HOS) relief to truck drivers working in COVID-19 relief efforts. Therefore, the Canadian trucking industry has promising support from the federal government for improved working conditions for drivers.
The Front-line Warriors for Canada
According to a long haul driver, Josh O’Keefe, the need to restock grocery store shelves across the country is also important for his family’s safety. Many other drivers like O’Keefe are putting their life at risk and steering through tough living conditions to keep the country afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. In the long term, the trucking industry in Canada can be open to reforms in terms of working regulations and cross-border supply chain operations.