Cross Border Trucking Issues
Many Canadian based fleets cross the border with the United States to pick up or deliver goods. Many US based fleets cross into Canada for similar reasons. But with the corona virus it’s not all business as usual even for these essential workers.
The Government of Canada recently required use of its ArriveCAN system by all travelers including truck drivers to electronically transmit data to Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). The ArriveCAN app is available for both iPhone and Android users enabling them to send their data via smartphone prior to arriving and receive an electronic receipt to show at primary border inspection.
The Issue with ArriveCAN
One major hiccup is significant numbers of truck drivers have no access to smartphone technology or a computer. So thanks to Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) for working with the Government of Canada to provide a transition period, presently permitting verbal declarations at CBSA inspection.
But CTA is quick to point out that both US and Canadian truck drivers will soon have to use a smartphone, tablet or computer to transmit their data prior to arrival at CBSA when coming into Canada. The idea comes in response to Covid-19 and keeping it and its variants from being imported. Those who fail to comply will face fines and penalties.
The Canadian ELD Mandate
Another issue facing cross border fleets is the uncertainty surrounding the Canadian electric logging device (ELD) mandate. We know that the Canadian mandate is firmly set to become law as of June 12, 2021 and Transport Canada is not budging on that date.
The problem arises from the fact that any ELD used in trucks in Canada including US trucks must be certified for use in Canada by an independent third party. So far, only one company is accredited by Transport Canada, namely FP Innovations of Quebec.
Time Keeps Ticking…
The rule is different in the US where ELD providers are able to self-certify their own ELDs. Before being used in Canada those US trucks must have their ELDs certified by the accredited third party or face fines or other penalties.
The testing and accreditation process is said to take four to six weeks to certify an ELD for use in Canada. And at time of writing this article, no ELDs are certified for trucks operating in Canada. Add ELD training time for drivers and other personnel and fleets face a pretty pickle.
CTA Serves Trucking
However, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has again gone to bat for fleets and has worked on a 12 month soft enforcement with Transport Canada. The deal needs to be agreed upon by provinces and territories but likely will find no hoops to jump through. Makes it a little more palatable.
So far the cost of certification of an ELD has not been stated. But it is certain to be a significant burden for fleets with re-certification required over four years.
And US based drivers will need to be trained on complying with Canadian records of duty status (RODs). Likewise, Canadian drivers who cross into the US will have to comply with American rules. Hours of service (HOS) are different between the two countries.
Great Trading Partnership
Between Canada and the U.S. a tremendous amount of truck freight moves in both directions as we are significant trading partners. To continue to accomplish freight movement fleets must be compliant with regulations in both countries. Our economies thrive on it.
ArriveCAN came into existence as a contactless means of keeping us safer from the coronavirus. ELD mandates in both countries were developed to reduce truck driver fatigue and make highways safer for everyone.
Though we may see these issues as costly and inconvenient, they are necessary for our safety and our health. As a bonus, they increase productivity and decrease delays at the border.
At BrightOrder Inc. we want to say thank you to all truckers for the endless services you provide. Keep trucking and always look on the bright side.