May 8: Federal
Labour Force Survey Numbers Reflect Dim Findings of CTA’s Business Conditions
Report – Canadian Trucking Alliance
Federal data is supporting the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s recent
findings that, despite being an essential service, the trucking
industry is far from immune to the economic shocks brought on by the COVID-19
crisis and that federal aid is required to provide much-needed relief to
Statistics Canada has released its Labour Force Survey for
April, which quantifies the devastating blow various sectors like trucking have
taken from the pandemic. StatsCan reports the transportation and warehousing
sector saw a -14% year-over-year change in employment, illustrating just how
severe the labour and operational challenges are for the industry, even though
it’s being relied on to provide Canadians with food and essential products
during the crisis.
Other sectors intimately tied to the trucking industry and
supply chain also experienced severe job losses, including retail,
manufacturing, natural resources, and hotel and food sectors.
May 21: BC’s
Essential Freight & Passenger Services Hard Hit by COVID-19 Economy
– BC Trucking Association
The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) says that results of a
second COVID-19 impact survey of its members, focusing on operational
challenges for April 2020, indicate that trucking and motor coach companies and
the suppliers who support them in providing critical services to British
Columbians are severely strained by the ongoing effect of the pandemic,
including significant revenue losses and staff layoffs that continue to
“Our members have been incredibly heartened by the public’s
growing awareness of the essential role that our industry plays in their lives
– in the comfort and care that they experience as families and communities,
during ordinary and extraordinary times,” says Dave Earle, BCTA President &
CEO. “But in these extraordinary times, we’re hard hit. The viability of the
road transportation industry and the economy always go hand in hand.”
May 22: Truck
Driver Pro Gets Major Image Boost During COVID – Ontario Trucking
Truck drivers have arguably never been so admired by the
public as they are now, according to a new poll by Abacus Data for Trucking HR
The market research firm reported that the essential role
truck drivers have played in keeping the economy afloat during the COVID-19
crisis has helped boost the image of the industry.
The survey of 1,800 people showed that 54% of Canadians have
a positive impression of trucking companies. Only 5% had a negative view.
The overall impression of the sector has risen 10% to 15%
over the past few months, the poll found. Eighty-five percent said Canada needs
a strong trucking sector for the economy to be healthy.
May 27: Freight
Indicators Suggest the Worst Is in Trucking’s Rearview Mirror –
The worst of trucking conditions wrought by the COVID-19
pandemic may be in the rearview mirror, but the recovery could be choppy.
In its most recent Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT
Research predicts the economy will transition from contraction to growth over
the third and fourth quarters, as the focus shifts from saving lives, to saving
Industry analyst FTR reports the truck freight recovery is
well into the “restart phase” but overall volumes are still well below normal
levels. “The trucking market is moving up in a slow, stair-step manner,” FTR
But the worst should be behind us. FTR’s Truck Freight
Recovery Index, as of May 25, was at 68.7, well above the bottoming of 28.9 on
April 17. Dry van loads have returned to a “normal” reading of 86.3 – up from
the bottom of 42.6 on April 24. “That doesn’t mean volumes are robust, they are
still below last year’s levels,” FTR reported.
May 1: Prince
Rupert Plans for Second Container Terminal – Chamber of Shipping
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans remain in
place for the Port of Prince Rupert to expand its existing Fairview
shipping-container site and build a new $2.5-billion terminal. The Port has selected
DP World PLC as the operator for the second container terminal.
May 11: FIATA
Urges Attention to Container Imbalance – Inside Logistics
FIATA is urging shipping lines to review their practices in
order to even out the flow of containers across global shipping lanes.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of
container imbalances “is reaching a tipping point, with port and terminal
congestion, abandoned cargo, and container shortages. This has serious impacts
on the fluidity of global maritime supply chains, at a time when the timely
flow of essential goods is ever more crucial,” FIATA says in a recently
published position paper.
Just as China restarted its economy and began to send export
containers, the rest of the world economy went into shutdown mode, causing
backlogs of import containers at ports in Europe and the Americas.
“As backhaul (export) demand increases, for example, the
current high levels of blank sailings may mean there is not sufficient vessel
space or container equipment for backhaul (export) containers, and as such
imbalances in containers and available vessels will continue to be present.”
May 12: Significant
Decreases in Port Throughput Now Over? – International Transport
The International Association of Ports and Harbors and the
World Ports Sustainability Program conduct weekly surveys on the impact of
COVID-19 to monitor the situation and trends in world ports.
The current study shows that, compared with last week, more
ports are reporting a decrease in container vessel calls. However, the share of
ports facing significant decreases (in excess of a 25% drop) fell sharply from
10%-11% in the previous two weeks to less than 2% this week.
May 26: Container
Lines ‘Un-blank’ a Small Number of Sailings – Seatrade Maritime News
Container lines have started to ‘un-blank’ a small number of
sailings that had been cancelled in Q2 according to analysts Sea-Intelligence.
Data from the analyst showed that the number of blank
sailings announced by lines had remained relatively constant for the last five
weeks, and this past week had seen lines actually re-instating, or un-blanking,
a small number of services. The latest move though does not yet indicate a
rebound in the market as countries start coming out of COVID-19 lockdowns.
“However, it is also clearly shown by the data that this is
purely a very small change to the overall development in blank sailings. It
cannot be seen as a rebound in demand, nor can it be construed as ‘strong’
demand,” said SeaIntel CEO Alan Murphy.
May 28: ILO,
IMO and ICAO Urge Governments to Act on Crew Change, ‘Key Worker’ Status
– ITF Seafarers
The leaders of global maritime, aviation and labour
authorities have issued a joint statement calling on governments to facilitate
maritime crew changes and designate the millions of workers in critical
transport industries through the present pandemic as ‘key workers.’
Fang Liu (International Civil Aviation Organization), Kitack
Lim (International Maritime Organization) and Guy Ryder (International Labour
Organization) say that the aviation and maritime transport sectors, along with
the fisheries industry, are too important to global supply chains to have any
disruption caused by government restrictions preventing crew change and travel.
“Our three Organizations seek to ensure that seafarers,
marine personnel, fishing vessel personnel, offshore energy sector personnel,
aviation personnel, air cargo supply chain personnel, service provider
personnel at airports and ports are designated as ‘key workers’, regardless of
nationality, to exempt them from travel restrictions, to ensure their access to
emergency medical treatment and, if necessary, to facilitate emergency
repatriation,” said the leaders.
The international bodies also urged governments to remove
restrictions stopping crew from disembarking from ships in port. Currently,
many transport workers cannot transit through a territory to an airport or
other transport hub for a crew change and repatriation home. They say
repatriation flights must be sped up.
May 28: Port
of Montreal Projects Are Resuming – Port of Montreal
Port optimization development projects have resumed at the
Port of Montreal since the reopening of construction sites in mid-May. Adopting
all the health and safety measures necessary under the circumstances, project
management teams and contractors are back at work on the main construction
sites launched by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), including: the
redevelopment of Bickerdike Terminal, completion of Viau Terminal, the
rehabilitation of docks 25 and 27, and the construction of the Port of
Montreal’s Grand Quay tower.
All of these projects will make it possible not only to be
ready to accommodate the growth in diversified traffic at the Port of Montreal
in the mid and long term, but also to contribute to the economic recovery
through major investments in port infrastructures that are happening now.
May 29: Minister
Garneau Announces Updated Measures for Cruise Ships and Passenger Vessels in
Canadian Waters up to October 31, 2020 – Transport Canada
The Government of Canada continues to monitor the evolution
of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts it is having on the marine and tourism
sectors. Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe during the COVID-19
pandemic is Transport Canada’s top priority.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau,
announced updated measures pertaining to cruise ships and passenger vessels in
- Cruise ships with overnight accommodations
allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in
Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
- As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels
must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority
requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.