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Georgia man tried smuggling fake designer handbags through Canadian border
Trucking News

EASTPORT, IDAHO- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said Tuesday a truck with counterfeit designer handbags was caught in northern Idaho with the intent to distribute the purses in Canada.

Officers at the port of Eastport, Idaho, discovered the suspected counterfeit merchandise in the cab of a commercial vehicle.

According to a release, the counterfeit merchandise was found during an inspection of the truck cab, when the driver was exiting the United States and attempting to enter Canada.

The driver also had an outstanding warrant out of Georgia for failure to appear on an assault charge.

Customs and Border Protection officers located a commercial quantity of designer-brand purses, wallets, sunglasses, and clothing displaying the names of designers Gucci, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Chanel, during the inspection.

The retail price of the counterfeit merchandise was $32,900.

After additional questioning, the driver of the truck admitted the items were counterfeit and he intended to sell them in Canada.

“Trade in these illegitimate goods is associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises,” said Sweetgrass Area Port Director Daniel Escobedo.

An import specialist said the items were counterfeit and they should be seized for infringement of the manufacturers’ intellectual rights.

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GTI Transport Acquires Specialized Division of Precision Truck Lines
Trucking News
Precision Specialized Division truck
Precision Specialized Division truck via Precision Specialized Division/YouTube

GTI Transport Solutions has purchased the specialized heavy-haul division of Precision Truck Lines and will move the business to a new location in Brantford, Ontario, where it will continue to operate with the same management and personnel under the name Precision Specialized Inc.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GTI, based in Montreal, provides open-deck, specialized and over-dimensional freight transportation services in Canada and the United States.

Richard Lafreniere


Richard Lafreniere, CEO of GTI, said the company will invest in growing Precision’s business by expanding into new markets.

“The team at Precision Specialized has demonstrated market-leading know-how in quality of service and engineering of complex project-driven loads,” Lafreniere said in a statement released Feb. 11. “We firmly believe that blending their expertise with the broad footprint of GTI will enable us to drive growth and become the preferred open-deck, heavy-haul transportation company in North America.”

Ed Bernard, a former vice president of Precision’s Specialized Division, will continue to head up the operations as president of Precision Specialized.

GTI is a portfolio company of Novacap Inc., a private equity investment firm with offices in Toronto and Montreal. Novacap has owned a stake in GTI since 2014.

Frederick Perrault, a senior partner at Novacap, said the acquisition is part of a strategic plan to expand GTI’s capabilities and geographic reach.

“Combined with the launch of GTI USA in 2018 and other acquisitions in the pipeline,” he noted, “we are very enthusiastic about the group’s future.”

A representative of Precision Truck Lines also applauded the sale of the specialized division.

“This transaction is a win-win for us,” said Ravi Annand, vice president and chief financial officer at Precision Truck Lines. “It will allow a great division we have built up over the last decade to continue its growth plan and allow Precision Truck Lines to focus on its core activities of truckload and less-than-truckload transborder transportation.”

Founded by former truck driver Vishnu Ramdeen, Precision Truck Lines provides expedited freight transportation and maintains offices in Toronto in Canada and Ontario, Calif., in the U.S.

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Convoy truck member says they want Trudeau to ‘give Canada back to the people’
Trucking News

John Bushey, a member of the truck convoy in Ottawa protesting the government, said Tuesday that they want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to give “Canada back to the people” and denounced claims the convoy had taken on a racist connotation, saying they just want immigrants to come into the country legally.

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Registration now open for Canada North Resources Expo 2019
Trucking News

The Canada North Resources Expo is preparing for its big return to the CN Centre in Prince George, B.C. on May 24 and 25. The biennial trade event focuses on major resource sectors vital to Northern Canada’s economy, including forestry and heavy construction. Visitor registration is now open for this key trade event.

“With limited space remaining for exhibitors, we are excited to open up visitor registration for 2019,” said Mark Cusack, national show manager. “We’re looking forward to a year of growth at the show, with a number of new industry players signed on for the event and a great list of attractions being planned.”

Filling an expansive four acres of exhibit space, Canada North Resources Expo features all the equipment needed to get big jobs done. Hundreds of industry leaders from the following sectors will be in attendance: forestry, mining, screening/crushing/recycling, trucking and transportation, contractor/construction, and many others. In addition, the Interior Safety Conference will be returning as a popular feature for industry members on site.

Pre-registration allows attendees to plan their visit in advance and receive a show badge and other exclusive communication in the months leading up to Canada North Resources Expo 2019. Registration is newly open online here.

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TFI buys Toronto Tank Lines
Trucking News

MONTREAL, Que. — TFI International announced today that it has acquired Toronto Tank Lines (TTL).

TTL  operates storage facilities and a fleet of approximately 75 tank trailers and 45 power units. According to the agreement, TTL will operate as a standalone business unit within TFI.

“We are delighted to have Toronto Tank Lines join the TFI International group of companies,” stated Alain Bédard, chairman, president and chief executive officer of TFI International. “TTL’s strategic location in Hamilton Harbour along with its best-inclass transportation, transloading, tank storage and wash rack assets will synergistically fit into our family of tank companies across North America as we seek to accelerate its growth.”

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Paccar, Daimler, Autocar recall some 15,000 trucks
Trucking News

Nearly 15,000 trucks are being recalled by their manufacturers for various defects, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Daimler is recalling some 6,795 Freightliner and Western Star tractors and chassis equipped with certain Eaton Electronic Clutch Actuation heavy-duty truck clutches. The company says an internal component in the clutch assemblies could fail, possibly resulting in unintended vehicle movement. Affected models include:

  • 2018-2019 Freightliner 108SD
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner 114SD
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner 122SD
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner Business Class M2
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner Cascadia
  • 2018-2019 Western Star 4700
  • 2018-2019 Western Star 4900
  • 2018-2019 Western Star 5700

Daimler will notify affected truck owners, and dealers will update the software and repair any physical components for free. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-803. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-903.

Paccar is recalling approximately 6,857 Kenworth and Peterbilt tractors for an issue with the seat belt assemblies. The company says seat belt buckle assemblies in the affected trucks may have been glued and not sewn during manufacturing, possibly causing the assembly to come apart in the event of a crash.

Affected trucks include model year 2018 Kenworth T680 and T880, and model year 2018 Peterbilt 567 and 579.

Paccar is notifying affected truck owners, and dealers will replace the seat belt buckle assemblies that weren’t sewn for free. Owners can contact Paccar customer service at 1-918-259-3258 with recall numbers 18KWG and 18PBD. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-870.

Autocar announced it is recalling about 1,003 2019 model year Xpeditor trucks due to an issue where the universal joint strap bolts at the transmission output yoke may not be properly tightened. If these bolts are loose, the strap may disconnect from the truck, and the drive shaft could detach.

Autocar has notified owners, and dealers will properly tighten the bolts for free. Owners can contact Autocar customer service at 1-888-218-3611 or 1-877-973-3486 with recall number ACX-1901. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-889.

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Semi-truck driver killed in crash
Trucking News

A 36-year-old man is dead after a crash on I-69 in Genesee County.

Flint Township Police say the man was driving a semi truck westbound toward Miller Road when he hit a car in the roadway.

The semi truck left the road and overturned as it traveled down a steep embankment.

The crash happened around 9:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10.

The car had become disabled after its driver lost control. It's not clear how long the car was in the roadway before it was hit.

The driver of the semi truck has not been identified, but police say he was from Ontario, Canada.

Six other vehicles crashed while trying to avoid the same disabled car.

Two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Police believe slippery road conditions and speed contributed to the crashes.

Westbound I-69 was closed for several hours as crews removed vehicles and debris from the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Highway reopens after semi crash near Three Valley Gap
Trucking News

Highway 1 has reopened following the earlier semi-truck crash.

Drive BC reports the highway is open to single lane alternating traffic and motorists should expect delays due to congestion.

Original Story:

Bales of hay were strewn across the Trans-Canada Highway after a semi truck crashed and jackknifed across both lanes of the highway near the western end of Three-Valley Gap.

According to RCMP traffic services, officers from Revelstoke were called out to the accident scene at approximately 9 a.m. The single-vehicle accident occurred near the Camp Creek Bridge.

The highway is closed as the truck is blocking both lanes of traffic. Cpl. Mike Halskov of RCMP traffic services reported the driver of the truck is out of the vehicle and seems uninjured but will still be checked out by emergency medical services as a precaution.

Halskov said travellers should monitor Drive BC for updates on the condition of the highway.

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New CNG Refueling Being Built Near U.S.-Canada Peace Bridge
Trucking News

Envoy Energy Fuels Inc. and Truk-King Logistics Inc. have started construction on a public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) station in Fort Erie, Ontario.

The CNG cardlock station, located at 1521 Bowen Rd., will include four fast-fill lanes for heavy-duty vehicles and two dedicated lanes for filling large-capacity tube trailers for Envoy Energy’s mobile CNG refueling operations.

The facility, located along Ontario’s QEW highway and just minutes from the U.S.-Canada Peace Bridge, has the capacity to fuel Class 8 trucks in approximately five minutes and over 200 trucks each day. The opening of the station is planned for April.

Based in Fort Erie, Truk-King is a privately owned and operated dry-freight trucking company, providing cross-border transportation services to North American customers. In early 2018, Truk-King became the first third-party carrier in Ontario to adopt CNG Class 8 trucks. Truk-King plans to have its entire fleet of Class 8 trucks running on natural gas by the end of 2019, and the new station will provide the company access to another source of CNG fuel.

“I am thrilled that we are able to help Truk-King solve their problems with fuel costs and diesel emissions,” notes James Ro, president of Envoy Energy.

The station’s partners also include ComTech Energy, Enbridge Gas Inc. and Natural Resources Canada.

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Kriska acquires Icon Transportation
Trucking News

PRESCOTT, Ont. – Kriska Transportation Group has announced its acquisition of Icon Transportation Logistics (ITL) out of Puslinch, Ont.

The company will continue to be led by general manager Alen Delija and its current management team.

“ITL is a great fit with the Kriska Transportation Group,” said Kriska CEO, Mark Seymour. “We’re happy to bring their team of drivers and staff into the KTG family. ITL’s expedited team service is an exciting new addition to our transportation menu.  We know that they have been growing in this space and we hope to help them achieve that.”

“Becoming part of KTG offers ITL the opportunity to access a network of transportation companies that will help us better serve our existing customers,” added Delija. “We’re excited to be part of a group that will help to grow our reach and share our strengths.”

Icon Transportation Logistics offers domestic and cross-border truckload and expedited services. It operates 46 trucks, including 12 teams, and 78 dry van trailers.

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15 vehicles, 3 transport trucks involved in crash on Trans-Canada Highway
Trucking News

RCMP have confirmed that six people have been sent to hospital after a multi-vehicle crash near Birchy Narrows in western Newfoundland.

Four individuals have been sent to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while two are said to have serious injuries.

Fifteen vehicles were involved in the crash, along with three transport trucks. Emergency personnel from surrounding communities are responding to the collision.

The Trans-Canada Highway east of Deer Lake is still closed as there are still high winds and low visibility, while crews are working to clear he wreckage.

An update will be provided later today by the RCMP.

Earlier story: 

Rescue officials are on the scene of a multi-vehicle crash near Birchy Narrows in western Newfoundland.

The Trans-Canada Highway is closed east of Deer Lake. There is no word on injuries, but the crash involves multiple vehicles and at least one transport truck.

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Canadian truck carrying potato chips hits bridge in City of Tonawanda
Trucking News

TONAWANDA, NY (WIVB) - A truck from Alberta, Canada struck the Young Street Bridge in the City of Tonawanda on Monday afternoon, according to a news release. 

All bridges, by law, are supposed to be clearly marked on what their heights are in order to avoid accidents like these from ever happening.

Adam Hamdan, 42, told officers he "was lost" and failed to see the height limit signs for the bridge.

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Why the price of almost everything could go up in 2020
Trucking News

Brace yourself, dear consumer. Starting in 2020, and perhaps even this year, the cost of virtually everything could go up.

And no, it’s not because of taxes.

In less than a year from now, an obscure new international regulation that most people have probably never heard of goes into effect that could have a wide-ranging impact on oil and gas prices, transportation costs and, ultimately, the cost of importing and exporting.

While all developed countries will feel the impact, Canada could be hit particularly hard because it is both an oil-producing nation and a major exporter of bulk commodities.

Sectors from grain farmers on the Prairies to lumber producers and miners may be affected by higher diesel and transportation costs.

In January 2020, the Inter-
-national Maritime Organization (IMO) will implement new controls on pollution from ships plying international waters.

It will require international vessels – from container ships to cruise ships and bulk carriers – to lower the sulphur content in their emissions to 0.5% from 3.5%.

The changes will affect as many as 80,000 ships. Shipping companies generally have three options to comply, all of them expensive.

They can install scrubbers (at a cost of $2 million to $6 million) and continue burning cheap, high-sulphur bunker fuel. Some will opt to build new vessels that run on clean methanol or liquefied natural gas.

Most – at least 60%, according to one estimate – are expected to switch from bunker fuel to lower-sulphur diesel, because it doesn’t require any engine retrofits.

“Most ship owners are probably going to choose the compliant fuel,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Chamber of Shipping of BC. “We can see the number fitting scrubbers is actually relatively low.”

But diesel is already twice the price of bunker fuel, and fuel accounts for about 30% of the cost to shippers. And according to the International Energy Agency, diesel prices will go up with the increased demand – up to 30%.

Given that 90% of the goods people consume move by ship, it’s likely the higher transportation costs will get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Consumers may feel the increase, even if they don’t see it.

The switch will also have a ripple effect on refining. Diesel prices will almost certainly increase (in fact, they already have), and so might the price of gasoline.

The new IMO regulations will cost the shipping industry an estimated $60 billion a year, according to Wood Mackenzie. The total economic cost of the new regulations may reach $1 trillion over five years, according to S&P Global Platts.

“The transportation cost is going to go up,” Lewis-Manning said. “So anything that has to be moved by vessel, the cost will have to be passed down somewhere in that chain. We’re all going to feel it.”

He added that those transportation costs will likely start making their way down the chain this year, because some shippers have already begun to make the switch from bunker fuel to diesel.

“If you make an assumption that you’re going to use compliant fuel, you’re already starting to prepare for that with some additional freight charge in 2019, because the costs you will start to absorb will happen this year,” Lewis-Manning said.

“You have to have your tanks cleaned, and these are expensive evolutions. Some of that cost is already starting to be passed on through the supply chain. It’s difficult to say what it means to the cost of your iPhone that you’re importing from China. But I think it will be material.”

While there have been plenty of analyses of the new IMO regulations’ impact on the shipping and oil and gas industries, there’s been a surprising lack of analysis of the wider economic impacts.

“I think it is a bit of a sleeper issue,” said David Gillen, director of the Centre for Transportation Studies at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

“My sense is we’re not going to see substantive increases in consumer prices as a consequence of the fuel cost increase, say, on container ships. But where you are going to see it is in the movement of commodities.

“And so those input prices are going to go up, and they are going to have a trickle-down effect to consumer goods.”

Gillen said that Maersk has estimated the new regulations will cost $100 to $175 per twenty-foot-equivalent unit (TEU).

“When you look at what’s in a TEU, the impact on downstream consumer prices would not appear to be all that high,” Gillen said.

The greater impact would be on bulk commodity exporters, and Canada is a bulk commodity-exporting nation. Exporters of major Canadian commodities like grain, lumber, metallurgical coal, iron ore, aluminum, copper and potash can expect to pay higher transportation costs, Gillen said.

Canadians might therefore pay higher prices for finished goods, such as furniture, cars and fertilizers.

“All of these [bulk shippers] are operating in world markets,” Gillen said. “Margins are very thin. Any increase in transportation costs is going to be paid for by producers because they can’t raise their prices.

“So that’s going to end up being – in a sense – a tax on the producers of those commodities, which, in the case of Canadians, we’re going to get lower returns in the coal and potash, sulphur, grain and lumber.”

The biggest impact on consumers could be in the price of gasoline and diesel.

The demand for diesel is expected to soar, which is good for refiners but not so good for farmers, the trucking industry, railways and other diesel users.

Dan McTeague, an oil and gas analyst for GasBuddy, points out that diesel prices already started creeping up in 2017 and have outstripped gasoline prices. He thinks it’s largely due to the fact that shipping companies have already begun making the switch, which is driving up the demand for diesel.

“Diesel prices have already gone up,” McTeague said. “A good number of companies out there have already gone through the process of making the conversion. So we’ve seen diesel prices eclipse gasoline.”

Allan Fogwill, CEO of the Canadian Energy Research Institute, said increased demand for diesel could have an impact on gasoline prices as well, since refineries will be inclined to produce more diesel and less gasoline.

“If they can create more diesel and less gasoline, then they’d probably do that, and therefore that would increase the price of gasoline,” he said.


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United We Roll convoy makes noise in Ottawa
Trucking News

The first trucks in the United We Roll Convoy for Canada roll up to Parliament Hill.

OTTAWA, Ont. – The United We Roll Convoy for Canada wanted to make some noise, and this morning it did that very thing as it rolled up to Parliament Hill.

About two dozen commercial vehicles and twice as many pickups — many of which began their journey in Red Deer, Alta. – completed the final leg in a five-day trip, announcing their arrival with the blast of horns. One of the first protesters to step onto Wellington Street began playing the theme to Convoy over his megaphone, lest anyone forget the role of trucks in this protest.

The core messages were clearly supporting the energy sector. No to the carbon tax; no to Bill C-69, designed to overhaul the review of energy projects; no to Bill C-48, which looks to ban crude-carrying tankers along B.C.’s coast. And there was a resounding yes to the idea of building pipelines that would carry Canadian oil to tidewater.

“We cannot say how amazing it was to see the reception and the thousands of people that met us on the road,” organizer Glen Carritt told about 200 supporters. “Our voices are going to be heard. They heard our horns coming up … The politicians need to start listening to us.”

Brad Schell of Schell Equipment in High River, Alta., suggested it was hard to ignore trucks like his, with a trailer proclaiming that Canadians need pipelines. “It sends a big message,” he said.

“We drove here for all you folks,” a yellow-vested Mark Friesen added when it was his turn at the microphone. He was clearly happy with the sound of the horns. “Listen to that!”

Convoy organizers had at one time tried to distance themselves from the so-called “yellow vesters” known to express nationalist ideals and express fears about illegal immigration. But they were later invited back into the fold.

There was no ignoring the sea of fluorescent yellow among the crowd. Calls to cancel the carbon tax were joined by those questioning the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration, and questions about “erasing” borders.

“We’re just carrying Canada on our backs with this convoy, and we’re reaching the small communities that are ignored by Ottawa,” Friesen said. “We’re frustrated, and we’re angry, and we’re standing up for what we as Canadians need. It’s been a great way to bring people together.”

This was clearly an anti-Liberal crowd. Chants echoed messages like “Hey hey, ho ho, Justin Trudeau’s got to go.” One protester wore a cap with the Trudeau name and a finger flipping the bird. There were signs that simply said “Trudeau out. No Trudeau,” and a button that proclaimed “never elect a Trudeau again.”

Trucks represented the biggest symbols of all, decked out with signs expressing messages like “we love oil and gas”.

The number of trucks was clearly lighter than original projections, however, and even lighter than the numbers seen during recent provincial convoys across the Prairies. About 160 trucks had originally departed from Gort’s Truck Wash in Red Deer. Carritt and fellow organizer Jason Corbiel had originally suggested upwards of 400 trucks would make the journey.

When one protester took to a megaphone to praise “thousands” of supporters in Ottawa, a nearby police officer quipped “I think their count’s a little off today.”

But there were supporters on the way, with a rally held yesterday in Pembroke, and hundreds of supporters in Sault-Ste. Marie. The drivers were even met with food, drinks, and letters for the prime minister during an unscheduled stop in Terrace Bay. Carritt’s lead truck was covered in signatures by those who support the cause.

The numbers that made it to Ottawa dwindled further as Tuesday morning wore on, to a point where they were matched by the number of anti-pipeline protesters that police corralled on Wellington Street. But chants of “take your dirty oil off indigenous soil” were still drowned out by the trucks.

“This is not about Bill 68. This is not about Bill 48. This is not about Bill 69. This is a clear attempt of the government to destroy the energy industry,” said Senator David Tkachuk, one of the first politicians to address the crowd.

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer had already taken to Twitter with his support. “The #UnitedWeRoll convoy is a testament to the importance of Canada’s energy sector and the crisis it’s facing. Canadian energy workers deserve a government that supports their industry and champions it worldwide. Conservatives will fix the Liberal mess and get back to work,” he tweeted.

Jason LeBlanc of Estevan, Sask., referred to the convoy as a warning shot.

“Our little, peaceful convoy made it,” he said.

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Second largest load in history hits Alberta highways
Trucking News

EDMONTON, Alta. – Mammoet Canada is at it again, moving historically large loads on Alberta’s highway system.

This time, the carrier will be transporting a polypropylene reactor from Cessco Fabrication in Edmonton to Inter Pipeline’s Heartland Petrochemical complex in Strathcona County.

The load will be the second largest to ever hit the province’s highway network. The largest happening in early January when Mammoet moved a splinter weighing in at a whopping 820 tons and measuring 96 meters in length.

The total shipping weight of the reactor is 725,000kg. It is 48.5 meters long, about half the length of a CFL football field.

Made out of carbon steel, the reactor converts propylene into polypropylene resin, which is then kneaded into pellets.

The reactor is being transported horizontally, but will be raised once at its destination by a 430-ft., 1,600 ton ring crane.

Transportation of the reactor began today, and will arrive at Inter Pipeline’s site Feb. 22.

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New list details 100 worst congestion spots for truckers
Trucking News

If you pick up and/or deliver to or near most major U.S. cities, you don’t need a study to tell you how bad traffic congestion is; you’re mired in it on a regular basis. But, the latest data pinpoint the 100 most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America, and illustrate its cost.

The American Transportation Research Institute today released its annual list of trucking bottlenecks, which is based on GPS information from 1 million trucks. In general, this year’s report shows congestion is getting worse, the speed of travel through these locations is slowing, and the cost to the industry is increasing.

The top 10 locations for the worst congestion for truckers includes:

  1. Fort Lee, New Jersey: I-95 at SR 4
  2. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  3. Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 (North)
  4. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
  5. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
  6. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75
  7. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  8. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)
  9. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  10. Los Angeles: I-710 at I-105

ATRI’s analysis also found that year-over-year truck speeds across the top 10 locations dropped by an average of nearly 9 percent as congestion worsened.

Trucks that aren’t moving, or are moving slowly, are expensive. It’s estimated congestion costs the industry some $74.5 billion a year, and 1.2 billion in lost hours of productivity. ATRI said congestion caused by these bottlenecks equates to 425,533 truckers sitting idle.

“Congestion is a persistent issue for our industry and our company specifically,” said Rich McArdle, president of UPS Freight. “For UPS, if all of our vehicles are delayed just five minutes a day, every day, it costs our company $114 million a year.”

While Fort Lee, New Jersey (the George Washington Bridge crossing into New York City) is the worst bottleneck, Atlanta has the dubious distinction of being the U.S. city with the most trucking bottlenecks in the top 10 with three. Fully 70 percent of the locations on the top 100 list are located in just 12 states. That list includes:

  • Texas, 13
  • California, 7
  • Connecticut, 6
  • Georgia, 6
  • Washington, 6
  • Maryland/Washington, D.C., 5
  • Minnesota, 5
  • New York, 5
  • Pennsylvania, 5
  • Illinois, 4
  • Indiana, 4
  • Tennessee, 4

The nation’s largest trucking advocacy group wants elected officials to do something about these bottlenecks.

“ATRI’s research shows us where the worst pain points are – but they are far from the only ones,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “This report should be a wakeup call for elected leaders at all levels of government that we must act quickly to address our increasingly congested highway system. Without meaningful investment in our nation’s infrastructure, carriers will continue to endure billions of dollars in congestion-related costs – which results in a self-inflicted drag on our economy.”

You can see a detailed list of the top 100 most congested bottlenecks online.

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Truck Drivers Idle During Travel Ban
Trucking News


KIRKWOOD, N.Y. -- A ban on commercial vehicles on interstates was enforced throughout the day Tuesday.

State troopers pulled over truck drivers violating the ban. For those following it, there was nothing to do but wait.

Love's Travel Stop near Binghamton is the last stop for truckers before entering Pennsylvania from New York, so a travel ban on all commercial vehicles on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania means a crowded parking lot full of tractor-trailers in New York.

"Nowhere near as much as we do when we're hauling. It's half pay. It's better than nothing. I'd rather that than being out there risking my life or someone else's," said driver Andy Blythe from Ontario.

Truck drivers explain to Newswatch 16 that it varies from company to company as to whether drivers get paid during a travel ban. Some drivers will get paid half.

"So, it's something. It pays for a motel if you're going to get it, or food or whatever. Other companies don't. Drivers are only paid when the wheels are turning," said driver Stephen Smith from Ontario.

Drivers tell Newswatch 16 if they have perishable items in their trucks, a travel ban can be a little more stressful.

"They're only going to be good for a couple days, so if we do get stuck in a situation like this, we hope it's something quick where they can get the highways done so we can make this delivery. After a couple days, people more than likely won't receive it," said Virginia driver Finny Cureton.

We found several refrigerated trailers at the rest stop near Binghamton. Drivers say their loads should stay fresh despite the one-day delay.

"It can be anywhere from 10 degrees to 70 degrees depends on what the product is that's in there."

RVs were also included in the travel ban, so a cross-country road trip for one family will take a bit longer than expected.

"Probably do it in seven days, but 10 to 12 is probably reasonable."

Traveling from Canada to Seattle, Washington to visit their daughter, the Laforest family made the best of making the time pass.

"Internet is a wonderful thing. We have this huge Wi-Fi thing so we can get internet anywhere. We can do the Netflix and catch up on whatever we want to. We said what would we do without it? We'd have to read a book, which is actually kind of nice. I brought one, so I'll probably do a little of that, too," said Stephen Laforest.

The commercial vehicle travel ban in parts of Pennsylvania went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday, and despite the frustration,  drivers say they understand.

"The state's doing the right thing. Keep everyone safe then clean the roads."

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Convoy of angry truckers heading to Sudbury
Trucking News

A fleet of frustrated Westerners will roll through Sudbury this weekend en route to the nation’s capital.

The United We Roll convoy, featuring about 300 trucks, is departing Red Deer, Alta., on Valentine’s Day, and should reach Sudbury by Sunday.

“It’s tough for us to stop in any given city, because we have 4,000 kilometres to travel and four days to do it,” said organizer Glen Carritt, a municipal councillor in Innisfail, Alta. and owner of a company that provides fire services to oil and gas operations.

“But what we’re doing is encouraging people to come out and support us, whether it’s on the highway to watch us go by, or for trucks to join in from city to city or border to border.”

The goal is to reach Ottawa by Feb. 19, where speeches and a rally are planned for Parliament Hill.

Carritt said convoy participants are fed up with the slow pace of pipeline development and feel the federally imposed carbon tax will only cause more economic pain for an already struggling region.

“We need pipelines to get our product to tidewater, and also to the rest of the country, so that we can stop spending $50 million a day on foreign oil from countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela,” he said.

He said Canada counts the third largest reserves of oil in the world — nearly all of it in Alberta — “but we don’t use our oil to the best of its capacity.”

Apart from importing foreign oil, “we also sell it to the States cheap and buy it back at a higher rate,” he said. “The reason for that is the U.S. has no interest in Canada getting our pipelines to tidewater, because then that changes the world market for them.”

Convoy members oppose Bill C48, which prohibits oil tankers from stopping at West Coast ports, and Bill C69, a revamp of environmental assessment rules that will inhibit energy projects through “over-regulation,” according to Carritt. “We’re already losing businesses right, left and centre in Alberta and Saskatchewan and B.C., because they can’t keep up with the regulations.”

His group also feels the price on carbon “needs to be revisited or abolished,” as it taxes Canadian families while “doing nothing to reduce emissions.”

Carritt said Jason Kenney, leader of the United Conservative Party in Alberta, is on board with Ontario’s Doug Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe in challenging the federal carbon plan.

Even in B.C., there are many people — including Indigenous people who welcome the work that would come from pipeline construction — who see the price on pollution as an impediment, he said.

Just before Christmas, the Trudeau government announced $1.6 billion for Alberta’s ailing energy sector, but Carritt said that is not the answer.

“We don’t want handouts in Alberta,” he said. “We don’t want to become dependent on any government. We just want to get back to work and get our product out there. The $1.6 billion is almost a slap in the face.”

There has been some confusion and controversy in getting the rolling protest out of the garage, largely because the yellow vest movement, which counts some extreme elements, was initially involved.

“I stand behind what the yellow vests believe in, but I don’t stand behind the radicals and discrimination that come from certain Facebook pages,” said Carritt.

People identifying with the movement can still be part of the United We Roll convoy, he said, as long as they aren’t spreading an intolerant or hateful message.

“We only accept respectful, peaceful, hard-working Canadians that want to have their voice heard in Ottawa,” he said.

These include members of the oil and gas industry, but also farmers, military veterans and members of the Metis community, he said. And he hopes other allies will be found along the way, including, perhaps, some auto workers in Ontario.

“This is a united coalition,” said Carritt, who will be driving a red fire truck from his OP Fire & Safety business in the convoy. “This is a movement that says ‘we’re fed up’ and anybody is welcome — yellow vest, pink hat, blue carnation, I don’t care — as long as you are respectful.”

The organizer said about 200 trucks are committed to driving the full distance to Ottawa, but others will join for shorter stretches along the way, swelling the fleet size to as many as 400 vehicles at times.

They won’t be driving bumper to bumper, however, and shouldn’t impede other traffic too much.

“We’ll have space between so people can pass,” Carritt said, adding he’s consulted with OPP, RCMP and Ottawa Police to make sure they are aware of the plan and all requirements are met.

“This is a peaceful, respectful protest, where we’re following all the laws,” he said. “We’re not just jumping in trucks and driving across the country. This has been a huge logistical undertaking and we’re trying to make sure we have all the bases covered.”

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Manitoba scraps non-RTAC standard, harmonizing with western provinces
Trucking News

WINNIPEG, Man. – Manitoba regulations for vehicle weights and dimensions are changing with the removal of the non-Road Transportation Association of Canada (RTAC) standard.

The province had adhered to two standards – RTAC and non-RTAC – and said scrapping the latter from the Vehicle Weights and Dimensions on Classes of Highway Regulation will simplify the rules and reduce regulatory requirements for commercial vehicles in Manitoba.

The changes, which come into effect Feb. 15, are also expected to improve clarity of the regulation for businesses, staff who issue over-dimension and overweight permits, and enforcement officers.

Non-RTAC vehicles will continue to fall under legal length, height, and width, and carriers can keep operating with their existing non-RTAC equipment under permit.

Inter-axle spacing will impact allowable weights, therefore any vehicle that does not meet spacing requirements will need a permit to operate legally. A new permit for short inter-axle spacing will be required for a fee of $24.

Permits will no longer be required for long wheel base semi-tractors, full and semi-trailer lift axles, and tandem steer axles under a 2.2m spread.

The new regulation aligns with other provinces in the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, harmonizing across the western provinces. Ontario continues to use both the RTAC and non-RTAC standards.

A review process of the regulatory change will take place during the first year to determine any impact on the industry.

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Progress made towards allowing weight parity for single tires
Trucking News

Michelin has sold one million X One wide-base single tires such as these ones.

OTTAWA, Ont. – Changes to the Heavy Truck Weight and Dimension Limits for Interprovincial Operations in Canada pave the way for truckers to use wide-base single tires at the same weight limits as duals right across Canada.

The decision was made during the meeting of the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety in late January.

“We are grateful for the leadership shown by the First Ministers, Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety and the provincial and territorial government representatives of the Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Policy for moving forward on this issue so that the trucking industry can take advantage of this progressive equipment technology under the MOU umbrella,” said Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) senior vice-president of policy, Geoff Wood.

The CTA says the next step is for the provinces and territories to amend their regulations to reflect the recent changes, and in the interim, to offer permits to facilitate the movement of single tire-equipped vehicles.

“The outcome of this policy decision which also saw an all-hands-on-deck effort from the provincial trucking associations in the Alliance strikes a good balance between road infrastructure preservation and productivity, safety and environmental considerations. It also levels the playing field with respect to Canadian and U.S. fleets in their tire spec’ing options. The ultimate goal of this effort now and all MoU updates is to have all jurisdictions adopt the MOU changes in their regulations as quickly as individual regulatory/legislative timetables permit,” added Wood.

The MOU can be read here.

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