A group representing all interests involved in the trucking industry, including drivers, carriers and labour, is asking Ottawa to assist drivers and trucking companies who are struggling to operate through COVID-19.
The broad coalition consists of the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association, Private Motor Transport Council, Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada, Teamsters Canada, and the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
The coalition fully agrees on the prescription for the trucking industry and is specifically asking Ottawa to introduce two financial measures:
- Address significant cash flow challenges for trucking companies by introducing a three-month deferral of payroll taxes with an 18-month recovery period.
- provide needed relief for truck drivers grappling with soaring food costs while on the road. The coalition is recommending the Government of Canada adjust the meal allowance for both long-haul and short haul drivers.
Earlier this month, CTA conducted a survey of over 100 trucking companies, who employ over 50,000 Canadians. Some of the key finding includes:
- On average carriers have experienced a 27% decrease in revenue;
- Carriers report a 200% increase in ‘empty miles’ (the condition when trucks are travelling, but are not generating any payload revenue for their services);
- Without an improvement in economic conditions, 37% of fleets have significant concerns regarding the continuation of their operations;
- 63% of fleets indicated their customers have recently asked for payment deferrals or simply have not paid the trucking company for their services;
- 55% have had to lay-off staff as a result of the pandemic. Of the remaining 45%, many indicated they still may be forced to lay-off staff if conditions do not soon improve.
“Ottawa has introduced a number of important and well-designed measures to help the Canadian economy through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Stephen Laskowski, president, Canadian Trucking Alliance. “But there’s some recognition that more may need to be done and specific measures are required for businesses like trucking which find themselves in a very unique circumstance during these uncertain times.”