Include Freight Forwarders as Essential Service: CIFFA Letter to Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

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April 7, 2020.

Att. Hon. Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,

Dear Minister Blair,

The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) represents some 260 regular member firms from the largest of global multi-national freight forwarding firms to small and medium sized Canadian companies. CIFFA member companies employ tens of thousands of highly skilled international trade and transportation specialists. As a vital component of Canada’s global supply chain, member firms of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) facilitate the movement of goods around the world. Freight forwarders provide a vital link in Canada’s global supply chains, enhancing export capabilities and assisting in the delivery of competitive solutions to Canada’s importing and exporting communities.

Shipping lines, airlines and other transport operators provide the conveyance methods but are chosen as the method of transport most cost effective by the international freight forwarder. So, in this logistics struggle, freight forwarders are an essential if not the key component of the community and economic struggle.

From the transportation sector identified in the recent government announcement Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic”, essential transportation workers were defined as workers supporting or enabling transportation functions in any transportation mode (i.e. road, air, rail, marine). For greater clarity, the listing included: truck drivers, warehouse workers, employees of logistics operations, freight trains, maritime workers, postal and shipping workers, and air transportation employees.

We would like to eliminate the ambiguity of the services that we provide, ensuring that we are properly identified as essential going forward, and request that freight forwarders be identified and named within the guidance list as essential transportation services.

Thank you for consideration of our request.


Bruce Rodgers            Executive Director, CIFFA

Julia Kuzeljevich          Public Affairs Manager, CIFFA