Kriska Transportation Group and one of its major customers have done more than just talk about carrier-shipper collaboration.
The Prescott, Ont.-based carrier successfully completed a pilot project Unilever that provides overnight parking for truck drivers.
Kriska President Mark Seymour recently unveiled the details of the program at a recent OTA board meeting and as Truck News reports in this follow-up article, the idea originated when Unilever approached Kriska – its largest cross-border carrier – and asked what it could do to become a “shipper of choice” to ensure capacity availability in a tight market.
Kriska director of operations Tammy Cryderman explains that drivers often found themselves in a tight spot when delivering at a certain facility in Pennsylvania, often risking running out of hours of service and parking illegally or unsafely because of lack of nearby parking.
“Cryderman suggested that creating a limited number of overnight parking spots at the distribution centre would allow drivers to make their deliveries on time and would give them peace of mind, knowing a safe parking spot was waiting for them at the delivery point.
Kriska Chief Operating officer Jonathan Wahba points out that many big shippers don’t allow drivers to sleep on site. “Unilever decided they would tackle this problem with us on a pilot project to allow drivers to sleep on-site in a ‘safe haven’ environment when needed.”
For a global company such as Unilever to obtain the necessary permissions wasn’t easy, Truck News reports, but Wahba said they were committed to the project and worked with the carrier to manage it and see it through.
Certain rules were put in place. Drivers must wear safety vests at all times, carry a flashlight at night, follow on-site safety rules, must de-couple the tractor from the trailer prior to parking for the night and may not move the tractor on-site once parked, except to back into the loading dock at their appointment time. As often as possible, Kriska gives the parking spots to trucks equipped with no-idle cab comfort systems, to comply with Unilever’s anti-idling policies.
The project was so successful, Unilever permanently adopted the program, expanded the number of overnight truck parking and also rolled the safe haven parking project out to other locations across its network.
And as a result, the Newville Unilever run has become a driver favourite at Kriska, meaning Unilever has achieved its goal of becoming a shipper of choice.
“For drivers, it has become our most requested lane because there’s no stress for the driver,” Wahba says. “We offer a choice dispatch model, not forced dispatch.”
Kriska is now hoping the safe haven trucking project with Unilever can be used as a model for other shippers to follow.
“The hope is, we can share this with other shippers and that they see the positive impact it has had,” he explains. “Right now, the market is pretty balanced in the cross-border space – not too oversold or undersold. But if the market tightens, what a great strategy a shipper can employ that doesn’t cost them much.”
Kriska created a video to thank Unilever and to bring attention to the project:
Here’s how more shippers can become Customers of Choice: