Today's Trucking
news

Coach shares the secrets of fleet profitability

November 14, 2018 by John Smith

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Trucking is a difficult business, but it can be profitable. Fleets that benchmark their performance against peers in the Truckload Carriers Association’s Profitability Program (TPP) have proven that.

news

‘ELDs are here to stay’

November 14, 2018 by John Smith

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are now the law in the U.S., and Canada is approaching ever closer to a mandate of its own.
Major device suppliers are meeting in Toronto this week to explore a uniquely Canadian approach to certifying the equipment.

news

Driver shortage is (economic) drag

October 10, 2018 by John Smith

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – When Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski took his turn at the mic during the annual Surface Transportation Summit, he was quick to refer to trucks parked against fences along nearby Dixie Road. They’re not idled because of a lack of business opportunities, he stressed. It’s because of a lack of truck drivers.

news

Hyliion axle breathes new life into hybrids

October 9, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Hybrid is no longer a four-letter word. It may still leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who invested heavily in the hybrid concept a decade or so ago, but Hyliion’s 6-by-4 Hybrid Electric (6x4HE) propulsion system will put money in fleets’ pockets without the help of tenuous government subsidies. Come to think of it, Hyliion might even sweeten the industry’s feelings on 6×2 axles.

news

Trucking, shipping groups dig into USMCA changes

October 3, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. – Whether you call it USMCA or the unofficial brand of NAFTA 2.0, North America’s new trade agreement is being greeted with a sigh of relief by transportation industry lobbyists and analysts alike.

news

Break Down the Breakdowns: Controlling on-road maintenance

September 6, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. —  Mike Gomes, the vice-president of maintenance for Bison Transport, summarizes his fleet’s on-road repair process in six simple words: “Truck broke. Fix truck. Send money.” It’s a joke, of course, but there’s still a ring of truth to it. Each step in the process – especially as it relates to controlling costs – makes a roadside breakdown much more difficult to manage than work in your own shop.

news

Truckers leaning on smartphone smarts: Survey

August 24, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Whether you’re on the road or at home, a phone is likely at your side. Statistics Canada reports that more than three-quarters of all Canadian adults owned a smartphone in 2016. Combine those phones with in-cab telematics […]

news

Can the hot trucking market continue?

May 18, 2018 by John Smith

NEWPORT, R.I. – It is a good time to be in trucking in the U.S. The economy is strong, freight needs to move, and rates are on the rise. Eric Starks, the chairman and CEO of FTR, pointed to several indicators during a business symposium for Volvo dealers and customers. The ATA Tonnage Index and FTR Loadings Index, which track absolute freight levels, are both trending upward. The flatbed market in particular has been going “crazy”, in part because of increasing demand to move pipe and fracking sand, the latter of which is moved in boxes, he said. “It’s eating up a huge amount of capacity.” Everything from consumer spending to home sales are adding to the demand.

opinions

Honoring Humboldt: We must learn the lessons that emerge

April 13, 2018 by John Smith

The only thing we really know about the collision at the intersection of Saskatchewan highways 35 and 335 is the extent of the tragedy. Sixteen members of the Humboldt Broncos family, all too young, were lost in early April when a bus and truck collided. Thirteen more were injured. The scars, both physical and emotional, remain.

opinions

Everything is negotiable in ELD era

April 10, 2018 by John Smith

For years, I’ve been chuckling under my breath at transportation conferences whenever I hear shippers speak about how important it is to be “good business partners” with their carriers. Experience has shown me that once they walk off the stage, their actions tell another story. The “win-win” rhetoric gives way to “we win, you lose” when it comes time to work on a contract. That’s starting to change.

news

New CTA chairman looks to raise regional voices

April 10, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — This isn’t the first time Scott Smith has occupied a seat at the head of a boardroom table. The president and chief executive officer of Ontario-based JD Smith led the Ontario Trucking Association from 2004-06. Now, just a little over a decade later, he has been handed the gavel for the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

As familiar as the role might appear, this is a time of significant change among some of Canada’s largest trucking associations. Stephen Laskowski is entering his first full year as chief executive officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance itself. Recent months have seen changes to senior staff at the British Columbia Trucking Association and Alberta Motor Transport Association, too.

news

Combined Savings: LCVs vs. platooning

March 2, 2018 by Jim Park

TORONTO, Ont. — Pulling two trailers with just a single power unit is an efficient way of moving freight. It’s not quite two-for-the-price-of-one, but fuel and labor costs are lower on a per-trailer basis even if equipment acquisition and operating costs are similar.

news

Trucking is growing, but watch NAFTA and driver shortage

February 26, 2018 by John Smith

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Trucking activity is surging thanks to an array of economic factors in the U.S., but there would be a steep price to pay if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through on threats to pull out of NAFTA. “NAFTA trade via truck supports over 46,000 jobs in our industry, including nearly 31,000 truck driver jobs,” the ATA’s Bob Costello observed during Omnitracs’ fourth-annual Outlook conference.

news

Block by Block: How blockchain will transform trucking

January 18, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, ON — The business of moving freight generates a mountain of paperwork. Contracts establish rates and delivery requirements; bills of lading are signed and filed; invoices are generated to request the cheques that need to be issued and cashed.

Blockchain – essentially a form of digital ledger — promises to reshape how all these transactions take place.

news

Cyberjacked! — Trucks vulnerable to cyber threats

January 16, 2018 by Jim Park

It’s Tuesday afternoon, a little after 2 pm. You’re the operations manager of a major truckload carrier. The morning rush is over, all the drivers and customers are happy, and now you’re gearing up for the onslaught of late-afternoon messages from customers wondering where their trucks are and drivers alerting you that they can’t load ’til tomorrow. Typical day. Then a driver calls on his mobile phone.

“My engine has just shut down and I’m sitting deader than a doornail in the center lane of Highway 401 between Dufferin and Keele Street,” he says.