BC Trucking Association Seeks 25 Immigrant Truck Drivers to Pilot Test New Skills Assessment Tool
Langley, British Columbia The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) has developed a new skills assessment tool called IDRIVE and is looking for 25 recent immigrants with professional truck-driving experience to participate in a pilot test to be scheduled in November or December 2013.
BCTA is working with BC motor carriers to find ways to address a shortage of professional drivers that could run as high as 33,000 across Canada by 2020, according to a Conference Board of Canada study1.
Immigrants to Canada are a valuable source of labour for the industry but may need help representing their skills to employers here, says Louise Yako, BCTA President & CEO. And BC employers need to know how driving experience from outside Canada rates in BC, where regulations, equipment, and geography may be quite different.
To assist, BCTA has partnered with the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table to develop a truck driver skill and experience assessment tool with input from motor carriers. IDRIVE stands for Immigrant Driver Readiness Industry Validation and Engagement, and it reviews the professional experience of drivers who are new to Canada, to provide them with a verified report on their readiness for employment in BC. IDRIVE tests industry knowledge, essential skills, employability characteristics (including customer service skills) and driving skills.
IDRIVE is made possible by the Immigrant Employment Council of BC. Funding is provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
We are pleased to support the BCTA s immigrant driver readiness tool that will help employers understand and benefit from the experience and skills of BC s immigrant labour pool, says Kelly Pollack, Executive Director of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC.
IDRIVE is now ready for a pilot test, and BCTA invites 25 immigrant drivers to participate, to make sure that both drivers and trucking industry employers can depend on its results. Assessments can take place throughout the province depending on where drivers are located.
Participants must not be employed currently in the trucking industry, but must live in BC and have a BC Class 1 commercial driver s licence or be willing to obtain one within the timeframe of the pilot project, which includes a road test. They must have at least one year of professional driving experience, here or in another country, read and write basic English, and be eligible to work in Canada, among a few other requirements.
In return, participants receive a copy of their IDRIVE assessment, and BCTA will work to connect them with motor carriers interested in the pilot and looking for drivers to hire.
Professional truck drivers keep our economy moving and tools like IDRIVE will help ensure we have the skilled drivers to keep the industry strong, and keep goods moving through B.C. and the rest of Canada, says Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. Congratulations to BCTA and its partners for this innovative idea.
State-owned Eskom on Monday said it had cut back on its coal-hauling times on the back of a recent spate of driver fatalities on Mpumalanga roads.
The trucking of coal to Eskom s power stations, which was an around-the-clock operation, would be halted from 18:00 on Fridays to 06:00 on Sundays the period said to have accounted for 36% of fatal road accidents.
Speeding, fatigue, poor visibility, road conditions, contravention of the rules of the road and alcohol were found to be some of the main factors contributing to the accidents over the past three years, Eskom noted, citing information sourced from the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison s road safety and law enforcement division for the Gert Sibande district.
The majority of the coal-haul road network fell in the Gert Sibande district.
Over the past three months, Eskom consulted various stakeholders in the transport and coal-mining industry to review options to improve safety on the coal-haulage routes in Mpumalanga.
This intervention will result in increased rest time for truck drivers and all transporters staff, which will aid in fatigue management and allow for regular intervals to conduct in-depth maintenance and mechanical performance testing of trucks to further minimise incidents resulting from mechanical failure, Eskom said in a statement.
Last year, about 14-million tons of coal had been transported by Eskom s contracted coal road-haulage companies, with another 20-million tons moved by companies contracted directly with mining companies that supply Eskom s power stations.
All stakeholders, including the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, the Chamber of Mines and Eskom s logistics and mining partners, would continue to review the implementation of this safety initiative to ensure that operations continue to run smoothly, Eskom concluded.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
The current state of the truckload market is currently being viewed as mostly normal with bits of fluctuation mixed in as well, according to panelists on a trucking panel at last week s FTR1 Transportation Conference in Indianapolis.
The wide-ranging discussion hit upon myriad industry-specific topics, including current market conditions, demand, capacity, and the impact of regulations, among other topics.
From a shipper perspective, Jon Meier, Truck Lead for Cargill, noted that his business is a bit recession-proof, due to being a provider of food and agricultural products but added that he sees normal activity for seasonal aspects of Cargill s refrigerated business.
On the spot market, Don Thornton, senior vice president at DAT-TransCore, explained that compared to a year ago at this time things are fairly flat, where there is usually a bit of a dip in demand around this time of year.
Things are actually growing, which is a bit unusual for this time of year, said Thornton.
That view was confirmed by John Vesco, executive vice president for Comtrak, a subsidiary of intermodal services provider, the Hub Group.
Around this time of year, Vesco explained that Comtrak typically sees a bit of a peak in demand as retailers stock up for the holidays.
This Peak is about in the middle compared to the last ten years or so, he said. One thing that is unique is that we are seeing some ebbs and flows when looking at it holistically over the last several weeks and months, with a bit more volatility than we have seen in years past. I am not sure exactly what is driving that although there have been some issues with short-term capacity but overall it has been average.
In summing up the trucking market on a year-to-date basis, Jim Tucker, president and COO of Tucker Company Worldwide, a global freight brokerage services provider, explained that trucking demand for the first two quarters of 2013 was very strong, followed by very soft demand in the third quarter on the spot and contact rates side of his business. He also noted that early signs for the fourth quarter, though, look very encouraging at the outset.
Looking at trucking output from a data perspective, Stifel Nicolaus analyst John Larkin observed that monthly truck tonnage data from the American Trucking Associations can sometimes be misleading due in part to a change in the mix of the economy, with many carriers shifting away from dry van to more of a heavy haul mix of activity related to energy exploration in places like Texas and North Dakota.
Things don t appear to be as strong as the truck tonnage numbers would seem to indicate, he said. Since 2008-2009, it seems like there is a new pattern emerging where the traditional Labor Day to Thanksgiving peak is not as pronounced. The new peak seems to be more in the May-June time frame, when items used in the summer time like gas grills, lawnmowers, charcoal, fertilizer, and beverages are moving in great quantity. It is a little different dynamic than we have seen historically.
As for the third quarter, Larkin said that July was again traditionally soft and the back-to-school season in August was muted compared to past years, but from the end of August and into September things got sequentially better, but cautioned that it is unknown as to how long that will last when that seasonal surge ends and returns to what he called a sub-trend type of pattern.
What s more, Larkin said the motor carrier Hours-of-Service rule, which kicked in on July 1, has yet to result in widespread capacity shortages, which were widely expected by industry stakeholders. It has, though, led to increased spot market activity in some pockets of the country, while cutting industry productivity in the 2-to-3 percent range.
If supply and demand had truly been imbalanced prior to July 1, you would have expected many more pockets of capacity shortages, he said.
Looking ahead to 2014, the outlook for the year s prospects ranged from promising to concern.
Tucker said that 2014 is viewed as having lots of potential, explaining it has been a moderate seven years for his company since the Great Recession, as his company has been actively focused on service quality and is overstaffed in preparation for what he believes will be a strong year.
Capacity issues were top of mind as a shipper for Cargill s Meier, with the company committed to continue working with its core carriers. Due to the seasonal nature of Cargill s business, Meier said it is so important to forge meaningful long-term relationships with carriers.
The concerns on Wall Street, explained Larkin, are centered on the third round of Quantitative easing, which could have a negative effect on the economy. But more positively the lack of a payroll tax hike and sequestration in 2014 could make it feel better compared to 2013, while the federal deficit could rise. And with a large amount of the workforce underemployed he said it could also lead to another year of sub-trend growth, with GDP growth in the 2.0-2.2 percent range.
DAT s Thornton said that the industry has changed somewhat in recent years, with rate growth occurring for line-haul and contracts, with decreases between January 2010 and June 2012, with flattening occurring in recent months for rates.
He added that DAT is seeing a shorter length-of-haul in its marketplace.
The 3PL market and the truckload market has seen about a 50-mile reduction in recent years for total length-of-haul, and that is going to drive rates up a bit, said Thornton. You are also seeing the impacts of regulation like HOS for certain lanes resulting in 4-5 percent rate increases. It has been a little slow for shippers and brokers to react to the market, but I think there is a learning process taking place in the industry. Our best bet for 2014 is that we will see an increase at a little bit faster than GDP for rates. We are seeing demand increase in the 3PL spot market.
Stifel s Larkin said that in regards to demand there are a lot of different aspects of the economy that are doing quite well, including energy development, trans-border activity into and out of Mexico, the rebound of the automotive sector, and building materials.
These sectors are quite strong compared to the more generic or broad dry van retail space, which is more flat, he said. The dry van carriers are not terribly optimistic about the retail dry van market growing in 2014 so they are trying to offer unique packaging services to try and gain market share in a world where the smaller carriers are really struggling with regulations and cost of capital, and capital availability.
C.R. England is the world’s largest refrigerated trucking company. Since 1920, C.R. England has specialized in moving temperature sensitive freight such as fresh produce, meat, dairy products, beverages, and chemicals. C.R. England utilizes top of the line trailers equipped with temperature-controlled reefer units to keep freight at a constant temperature. C.R. England offers each customer on-time service with competitively priced delivery. Transportation Services include; Long Haul Truckload Service, Mexico Service, Short Haul Regional Service, Expedited Priority Rail Service and Tailor-made Dedicated Service to meet the individual needs of our customers.
C.R. England is one of the nation s leading trucking companies providing transportation services and truck driving jobs for since 1920. C.R. England is providing trucking job1 opportunities for over 7,500 company drivers and independent contractors.
C.R. England offers truck drivers who own or lease their own truck an excellent opportunity to become an Independent Contractor. Independent Contractors enjoy the benefit of a carrier that is dedicated to helping them be successful in their truck driving career.
Training from a C.R. England partner truck driving school will give you the experience you need. Currently C.R. England partners with five Premier Truck Driving Schools located throughout the country providing CDL training for individuals seeking a new career. Truck driving students, who complete the course at a Premier Truck Driving School and meet all hiring requirements, are guaranteed a job with C.R. England.
C.R. England is known for its top of the line equipment. Our state-of-the-art, new model equipment allows for reduced down time and better fuel economy. C.R. England’s fleet utlizes the latest safety and communication technologies and aerodynamic equipment.
The for-hire trucking industry saw no gains or losses in employment in August, but the highlight of the month s jobs report is the downward revision of July s initial estimate, which was slashed from 6,300 jobs gained to just 400.
The numbers were reported Sept. 6 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who also reported the economy as a whole added 169,000 jobs in the month.
As with trucking, though, July estimates for the U.S. economy were downwardly revised from 162,000 jobs to 104,000. The unemployment rate, however, did fall another tenth of a percent to 7.3 percent. That drop is due mostly to people giving up looking for a job one of the parameters of the report.
Trucking has added 26,300 jobs since August of 2012, bringing the total number of payroll jobs in the for-hire industry to 1.3828 million. That figure is up 12.1 percent 148,800 jobs from March 2010 s bottom, but down 4.9 percent 70,600 jobs from January 2007 s peak.
The Department of Labor s numbers reflect payroll employment for the for-hire trucking industry only and do not include trucking-related jobs in other industries, like at private fleets. The numbers also do not reflect the total amount of hiring, as they only count employees paid in a specific payroll period. The numbers also could be slightly overstated, as turnover rates are high in the for-hire industry.
Turnover generated by the Dutch transport sector in the second quarter of 2013 was 0.5 percent up from the same period last year. Airlines and courier firms were the main contributors to the positive result. Inland shipping, road haulage and other providers of logistic services faced loss of turnover as the volume of transported goods diminished according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands.
Turnover generated by the aviation sector improved as more passengers were carried and rising fuel prices were passed on to consumers. Since 2009, turnover developments in the aviation sector have always been positive.
The increase in online sales had a positive effect on local mail and courier firms. Providers of courier services achieved better turnover results, despite the persistent economic crisis. Most goods carried are delivered at the consumer s home address by couriers. Courier service rates rose marginally in the second quarter.
Negative results road haulage
Road hauliers faced negative turnover results in the second quarter, although freight rates rose marginally. Turnover declined by more than 3 percent relative to the second quarter of 2012 as the supply of goods was limited. A similar downturn has not occurred in recent years.
Turnover results inland shipping further down
For the sixth quarter in a row, inland shipping could not realise turnover growth. Turnover declined by just under 3 percent in the second quarter. Overcapacity, the slump in the construction sector and the limited supply of goods have a negative effect on inland shipping.
Shipping agents also feel the impact of the recession
Providers of logistic services, e.g. storage, loading, unloading and transhipment facilities and shipping agents faced loss of turnover in the second quarter. The reduced supply of goods had a negative effect on the demand for logistic services. Currently, shipping agents are also beginning to feel the pinch of the recession. Turnover fell for the first time since early 2010.
More at The Dutch Daily News
Freightliner Trucks announced this week at the Great American Trucking Show a new factory-installed roof fairing available as standard on Freightliner Cascadia Evolution 72-in. mid-roof XT models.
They will be available as an option on the Freightliner Cascadia 72-inch mid-roof XT trucks.
The new roof fairing further contributes to the aerodynamic styling on the trucks, the company says.
Available with 12-in. or 20-in. side extenders, the roof fairing s overall height is the same as the truck s raised roof. The addition of the new fairing will provide up to a 2.8 percent fuel economy improvement over previous generation models, Freightliner says.
We are always looking for new ways to enhance fuel economy through innovative design, says Mary Aufdemberg, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks.
A similarly designed 60-in. XT Roof Fairing will be available in 2014.
An increased focus on life-cycle cost and improved transport infrastructure are two trends on the Moroccan truck market. A sharp rise in vehicle sales makes Scania a winner in this development.
In the past two years, Scania Maroc sold about 500 trucks annually, up from about 180 per year in the previous decade.
Within view of the development of the market as a whole, this is a fair performance, giving us a market share of 22.5 percent in the segments where we are represented, says Scania Maroc Managing Director Monssif Abied.
Trust is most important
Long-haulage trucks dominate the market, together with mining and construction vehicles, where the largest individual orders can reach 30 to 50 vehicles. Scania is presently second biggest among the European premium brands. This is a position that Abied sees as an advantage, since it means the company isn t the primary target for the competition. The most important point is to have a trusted and profitable position on the market that allows the company to develop, he says.
Focus on life-cycle costs
Monssif Abied is Managing Director of Scania Maroc and has been with the company for nine years.
Abied describes a growing focus on life-cycle costs among Moroccan truck operators. This means more emphasis on fuel economy, uptime and second-hand value.
The market is changing rapidly now, towards a focus on cost rather than price, and Scania has been one of the pioneers to make this happen, he says. It has been a strong team effort with some success, but the journey is not finished yet.
In dialogue with customers, Scania Maroc has assumed an advisory role and systematically brought up these matters for discussion. The company has also reinforced its own operation during the past few years. Together with an active sales approach and dedicated teamwork by the sales and service organisations, this has led to the rapid growth in sales.
Morocco grow 4,9 percent per year
Agriculture, mining and tourism are the three biggest sectors in the Moroccan economy. From 2004 to 2011 the country saw an average growth of 4.9 percent per year, according to a report from the African Development Bank.
In terms of infrastructure, Morocco has ports on the coasts of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. There are at least five international airports and a railway network that is presently being reinforced by high-speed TGV lines. Railways also connect the mines that produce phosphate, the country s most important export commodity, with the seaports.
Moroccan truck operators are typically small companies, but a few operators own between 100 and 200 vehicles and rely heavily on the expanding network of roads and highways. In the past 10 years this has improved the conditions for road transport, says Abied, and the trend looks likely to continue. There are ambitious new road and highway projects in the country, he says. Road transport will continue to grow in importance, and access to all parts of the country by road will get increasingly better.
Two new service points per year
All of this requires that Scania Maroc keeps up in terms of service facilities. From now until 2019 the company aims to open one to two new service points per year, adding to the six existing ones. The service network must also match Morocco s challenging topography, with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains at the centre and the Rif Mountains in the north of the country.
Looking towards the future, Scania Maroc sees an increased focus on road safety and environmental issues that will benefit the premium brands. This includes Scania buses and coaches, which are also selling on the Moroccan market. In 2012 the company expanded its business with service of marine engines. This year will see the launch of complete gensets.
However, with substantial impact from the crises in Europe, the immediate prospects are challenging. There is a lack of liquidity on the market, and Scania Maroc does not offer any financial services. But Abied remains optimistic. During the past five to six years we have been able to increase our market share and at the same time handle difficult moments, he says. Even if the market is decreasing we believe in our capacity to perform well, thanks to investment in training, organisation and a strong team spirit. This is the mindset we have in the company.
Michael Gerdin admits he wasn t convinced right away.
But with diesel fuel selling for around $4 a gallon, Eastern Iowa trucking companies and their counterparts nationwide have been trying a variety of strategies to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
America s 2.2 million freight trucks get about six miles per gallon on average hauling cargo. As truck manufacturers installed equipment to reduce air pollution in recent years, equipment prices rose and fuel mileage actually slipped lower.
That trend is slowly reversing as the industry works to boost fuel economy by improving the aerodynamics of its trucks and 53-foot trailers. And with the typical rig racking up 4,000 miles a week, incremental fuel savings adds up quickly.
Heartland Express in North Liberty has installed side skirts under all its trailer fleet to reduce aerodynamic drag caused by air hitting the rear axles. Aerodynamic drag can account for as much as 65 percent of the fuel consumed by a tractor trailer rig.
I was really skeptical at first whether the skirts would help us save any money on fuel, said Gerdin, chairman and chief executive officer of Heartland Express. We initially put them on our Phoenix fleet, which goes into California just about every day, to comply with the law in that state.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires any trailer coming into the state or traveling within California to have the side skirts or similar devices installed as well as using low rolling resistance tires. After having the side skirts on the trailers for a period of time and doing some tests, we determined they were saving us money on fuel.
As fuel costs rise, Gerdin said the time required to achieve payback on the purchase of the skirts is reduced. With $4 per gallon fuel, he said the payback time is about 18 months.
Gerdin said Heartland Express also has equipped its tractors with side skirts or fairings to improve aerodynamcs and reduce drag. He said the company also is testing some wheel covers to determine whether they will achieve enough fuel savings to justify cost.
We re not yet in a buying mode because we like to test them for a good period of time, Gerdin said. All of these things add to the cost of the truck, so you really have to judge your payback.
Cameron Holzer, president of CRST Expedited, said the Cedar Rapids company is restricting the speed of its trucks to a maximum of 65 miles per hour to reduce fuel costs.
CRST Expedited, which has equipped its trucks with side fairings that cover the fuel tank, also is installing either side skirts or SmartTruck UT-1 under tray systems on all its trailer fleet to improve aerodynamics.
Holzer said the smaller, lighter under tray system, which also is approved for CARB compliance, speeds the air up and deflects it under the rear axles.
This gives us a 5.5 percent improvement in fuel economy because we re also reducing the vacuum or low pressure envelope that exists at the back of the trailer, Holzer said. We have a deflector on the roof of the trailer that actually brings the air down.
When you pull up behind a trailer on the highway, it feels like you don t have to drive as fast because there s a vacuum that s pulling you along. We are filling that void, stabilizing the trailer, making it safer for the driving public, and also reducing our carbon footprint by saving on fuel.
Holzer said CRST Expedited is testing 14 of Freightliner s 2014 Cascadia Evolution trucks as it prepares to replace its tractor fleet. The trucks, which will cost about $5,000 more than the previous Freightliner model, have been designed with a variety of aerodynamic-enhancing features.
It starts at the front of the truck with a bumper filler that reduces high-velocity air entering the engine compartment and creating drag, Holzer said. Sealing improvements channel the air around the windshield. The driver- and passenger-side main mirrors have an airfoil shape and profile that minimize drag.
Twenty-inch side extender pieces reduce the space between the truck and the trailer as well as channeling the air around the trailer. If you stand in front of the truck, you can t see the trailer because of the outward curve of the extender pieces.
Holzer said the fuel economy with Freightliner Evolution is 5 percent better than the trucks CRST currently has in its fleet. That s been achieved with 3 percent from improved aerodynamics, including filling in gaps along the sides of the truck, and 2 percent from changes in engine design.
While improvements to truck design and aerodynamics are important, Gerdin said Heartland Express also has made changes involving the operation of its truck/trailer fleet to reduce fuel consumption.
You don t see a lot of trucks speeding anymore because it s just too expansive for a company like us, Gerdin said. We govern all our trucks at 64 miles per hour, so that s as fast as they can go.
Even the independent owner-operators are reducing their speed because they just can t take the hit on fuel.
Holzer said CRST and other trucking companies are finally recovering some of the costs associated with purchasing equipment that has reduced greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Since 2002, when the emission controls really started kicking in, we have seen the cost of tractors increase 40 percent, Holzer said. That s a huge amount of capital investment. We ve had to achieve some significant gains in fuel mileage to pay some of that back.
George Grask, owner and president of Cedar Rapids Truck Center, said the trucking industry eventually may move away from diesel engines to those fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquified natural gas (LNG).
There is no infrastructure for either CNG or LNG at the present time, but the infrastructure will come, Grask said. Once it starts, it will pick up more momentum as it moves forward.
No one wants to be left at the starting gate.
Gerdin said existing CNG- and LNG-fueled engines are capable of hauling inner-city cargo such as beer and soft drinks, but they are unable to haul trailers loaded with 18,000 pounds of cargo over the mountains in western states.
There s also the issue of how long it will take to fill up, Gerdin said. It takes about 45 minutes to fill a tank with CNG, so if you re fourth or fifth in line, you could be sitting there most of the day.
Interactive: How to reduce fuel consumption
After May and June both produced net job losses in the for-hire trucking industry, 6,300 net payroll jobs were added in July, according to preliminary numbers reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Also, May s 3,500-job reduction was downwardly revised to just 3,000 job cuts in the month.
Trucking employment now totals 1.3878 million payroll jobs up 153,800 (12.5 percent) since March 2010 s bottom. It s still, however, 65,600 (4.5 percent) lower than January 2007 s peak.
Total unemployment for the entire U.S. economy increased by 162,000 jobs. That number is weaker than economists had predicted and is the lowest month-over-month increase since March.
The unemployment rate, however, did drop to 7.4 percent the lowest rate since Dec. 2008.
Trucking s payroll employment numbers reflect the for-hire industry only, and do not include numbers of other trucking-related jobs, like driving for a private fleet. It also only reflects payroll jobs, not the actual number of jobs hired in the month.