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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TORONTO, ON – Today’s Trucking is compiling its annual list of the Top 100 – Canada’s largest for-hire carriers. And given the ever-changing size of individual businesses, we want to ensure nobody is missed.
QUEBEC, QC – QSL, Groupe Robert (Watson and Sycamore), and Express Mondor are joining forces to create Mondor-Watson – one of Eastern Canada’s largest heavy-hauling and oversized marine and land transportation consortiums.
QSL will hold the majority of the shares, while Mondor’s team will be responsible for daily operations. Groupe Robert, meanwhile, will offer its expertise in transportation and logistics as well as establishing synergies with the rest of its network.
QSL has a stevedoring network spanning Eastern Canada to the heart of North America, offering logistics services for ships, trucks, and railcars. Groupe Robert has 3,500 employees delivering logistics, distribution, and transportation services. Express Mondor has 170 employees focusing on specialized and oversized ground transport in Canada and the U.S.
MISSISSAUGA, ON – Manitoulin Transport has acquired Direct Right Cartage — an intermodal provider based in Brampton, Ontario – marking the fleet’s seventh acquisition in 12 months.
“This purchase enables Manitoulin to provide a higher level of service and frequency of intermodal service within Canada. We will continue to look for opportunities such as this to build our services and coverage to ensure our offerings meet our customers’ evolving needs,” said Jeff King, president of Manitoulin.
“Manitoulin’s ability to extend customers’ reach from Canada to the rest of the world through multiple supply chain service offerings gives them a significant competitive advantage,” added Gord Smith, Chief Executive Officer.
TORONTO, ON – If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably noticed something different. Really different.
Today’s Trucking has officially unveiled a redesigned website at www.todaystrucking.com, offering a new look, enhanced functionality, and – most important – the in-depth editorial content that Canada’s trucking industry has come to know and trust.
One of the biggest changes comes with the sharing of daily news from www.trucknews.com, now presented alongside content available exclusively at www.todaystrucking.com.
GUADALAJARA, MX – Noe Montes has experienced the benefits of NAFTA first hand. In a single decade he has grown his business from a single truck to a sophisticated fleet with 170 power units and 250 drivers – serving automotive shippers from Linamar to Pirelli.
He’s eying opportunities in Canada, too, particularly in a lane that would stretch between Mexico and Southern Ontario. Gone are the days when Mexican carriers would simply interline with their counterparts in Canada and the U.S., says the owner of Transmontes and its sister company, TM Transportation Services in Laredo, Texas.
But even as the 40-year-old entrepreneur adds to his fleet’s capacity, he is keeping a close eye on NAFTA negotiations.
PRINCE ALBERT, SK – Long-time driver and member of the Saskatchewan trucking family George Magee has passed away.
Magee, 81, passed away on November 2, in Prince Alberta where he was born and raised.
STEINBACH, MB — Big Freight Systems wasn’t for sale. The Coleman family had been running the business since 1948, when they bought South East Transfer in Steinbach, Manitoba. Chief Executive Officer Gary Coleman was focused entirely on finding ways to grow.
When a courier package arrived from Don Daseke, proposing a potential sale, he simply filed it away.
But Daseke persisted. The pair met in person. And this spring Big Freight Systems became the first Canadian operation in Daseke Inc.’s expanding family of specialized, flatbed carriers.
“His philosophy on business, his philosophy on people, his philosophy in terms of driving success forward through collaboration, all ran very close to me,” Coleman recalls. “I got comfortable with his long-term plan.”
That plan is to consolidate fleets in an industry sector dominated by family-owned businesses. The Texas entrepreneur has secured more than 3,800 trucks and 8,200 trailers so far, accounting for about 1% of what Daseke estimates is a US $133 billion market. The business reported $30 million in revenue in 2009, growing to a pro forma of $869 million last year. And more acquisitions are in the works.
Daseke refers to himself as an accidental trucker. He began his career as an auditor, held roles at IBM, and later built a residential real estate business that sold for US $1.7 billion. He first invested in trucking nine years ago only after a friend introduced him to Smokey Point Distributing, which specialized in aviation cargo. That became the first of today’s 13 operating companies.