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Common ground: Cross-border professionals met virtually to discuss issues facing both U.S. and Canada

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) hosted its Fourth Annual Bridging Border Barriers event virtually on Thursday, November 19.

More than 500 industry professionals attended the informative half-day session which focused on key issues and topics affecting the trucking industry on both sides of the U.S./Canada border. Thanks to its sponsors -- Blume Global, Daimler Trucks Canada, ORBCOMM, and TruckRight -- the event was offered at no charge to all audiences. Video recordings of each session are now available; email [email protected] to receive access.

For those unable to attend, here's a synopsis of the morning, which began with opening remarks by KRTS Transportation Specialists, Inc. President Kim Richardson and Cargo Transporters, Inc. President and CEO and TCA Chairman Dennis Dellinger.

Human Resources Professionals Panel Four industry professionals discussed all things HR in the trucking marketplace such as recruiting, retention, employee engagement, driver safety, and communications. Panelists included:

  • Challenger Vice President of People and Culture Geoff Topping;
  • Rosedale Group Director of Human Resources and Administration Rosana Preston; and
  • Halvor Lines Chief Risk Officer Adam Lang.

The session was moderated by Erb Group of Companies Vice President of Human Resources Dave Dietrich.

Regulatory Update TCA Vice President of Government Affairs David Heller made a presentation that evoked lively discussion on how the trucking regulatory landscape shaped up in 2020 and what's to come in 2021. Two key topics were the looming electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in Canada and the 7-3 sleeper berth provision in the new hours-of-service rule in the United States.

Heller said with the ELD implementation date set for June 2021, carriers operating in Canada have been going through a lot of the same growing pains U.S. carriers exhibited in the months prior to the U.S. implementation in February 2016. "The difference between the U.S. and Canadian rule is there is a third party-certification process in Canada," said Heller. "There is an expectation of that the number of certified devices in Canada will be considerably smaller than the list of over 400 devices certified in the U.S. by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration." U.S. carriers operating in Canada will have to carry an ELD device certified by the third party in Canada, added Heller.

"We encouraged carriers with U.S.-certified devices to remain in constant contact with their ELD provider as the Canadian process moves forward," he explained. Heller said discussion of the new American HOS rules revolved around a hiccup discovered as carriers started using the 7-3 sleeper berth split. "For instance, if they take that three hours first once they get back on the road, there are some ELDs that will show that they are out of compliance until they take that remaining seven hours in the berth," he said. "Carriers are calling it a retroactive noncompliant ELD and they have been causing some confusion.

It's an issue that bears watching." View From the Top - Leadership Panel The panel covered several topics of interest to attendees, including current and potential cross-border issues, the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement, marijuana transportation, sleeper berth flexibility, electronic logging devices, and truck size and weight.

Panelists included:

  • TCA President John Lyboldt;
  • Ontario Trucking Association and Canadian Trucking Alliance President Stephen Laskowski; and
  • Kriska Transportation Group President and CEO Mark Seymour.

The session was moderated by John G.

Smith, vice president-editorial, Newcom Media.

Lastly, Lyboldt and Richardson delivered closing remarks.

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