VICTORIA, Oct. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's Transport Minister, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, and B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister the Honourable Todd Stone today issued the following joint statement to unveil a new model for the container trucking industry serving Port Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.
"Port Metro Vancouver, as Canada's largest port, handling over 130 million tonnes of cargo each year, is critical to the local and national economy. Today we are announcing key actions that will move port operations forward, allowing us to leverage the substantial investments that have been made to expand the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and further enhance Port Metro Vancouver's truly world class position.
"Vince Ready and Corinn Bell have submitted a report containing important recommendations on innovative measures and efficiencies that can be introduced at the port. Today, our two governments are moving ahead jointly with the most crucial of those recommendations. Both governments see these two measures as necessary steps in ensuring the efficiency and competitiveness of the Port.
"Port Metro Vancouver will proceed with its planned reform of the Truck Licensing System. This will help to create the conditions for a modern and efficient drayage sector by ensuring a closer alignment between the number of container trucks serving the port and the demands of the customers who use their services. This measure will improve the conditions under which the truckers work, and increase the economic sustainability of the port. Assistance will be available to help the trucking sector through the transition to the new licensing system.
"In addition, the Province of B.C. will introduce legislation in the coming weeks to bring into force full, retroactive rate regulation for the marine container trucking companies serving the port. The Province will also appoint a Container Trucking Commissioner, who will assume responsibility for all Truck Licensing System licenses in place following the planned reforms by Port Metro Vancouver, and will administer future truck licences.
"I look forward to moving forward with a new model for the container trucking sector at Port Metro Vancouver and am excited to build on investments our government has made to increase the capacity and performance of the port. Working together with the province, the port, and the trucking sector, we are creating the conditions for Port Metro Vancouver to increase its efficiency and reliability and strengthen its position as a world-class port," said Minister Raitt.
"Our government has recognized the need for an independent voice to provide ongoing leadership to this vital sector. We are confident that the new Commissioner, to be appointed, and the marine container trucking sector can continue to build on the positive work of the past several months, to make sure the reliability and competitiveness of our gateway is sustained in an environment that is fair to truckers, said Minister Stone.
"Our governments thank Mr. Ready and Ms. Bell for their productive work and recommendations, and encourage supply chain partners to continue working together as we bring to fruition the measures we have announced today."
* Ready-Bell recommendations are also available in Punjabi on the Port Metro Vancouver site
Canada and BC Governments Unveil New Model for Port Metro Vancouver Container Trucking Industry
Governments act on recommendations in the Vince Ready—Corinn Bell report released today
Today, the Governments of Canada and BC announced actions that will be taken to strengthen Port Metro Vancouver's position as a world class port by creating the conditions for an enhanced and efficient drayage sector where the number of container trucks serving the port better meets market demands.
Following the development of a Joint Action Plan, developed in March 2014, which set out plans to help ensure truck drivers are paid fair compensation and established the need to reform the Truck Licensing System, Vince Ready and Corinn Bell were engaged to analyze and issue recommendations on all points in the action plan.
Their report, released today, includes recommendations on reforming the Truck Licensing System. The reforms will be led by Port Metro Vancouver.
Reform of the Truck Licensing System
Port Metro Vancouver's Truck Licensing System (TLS) was introduced in 2005.
In April 2014, Port Metro Vancouver sought feedback on the current system and potential changes including performance requirements and metrics. A Consultation Report from this phase will be released in the coming days.
In the first week of November, Port Metro Vancouver will begin a second phase of discussions with a view to having a finalized policy for the new TLS in place by the end of the month. Meetings will focus on anticipated new standards and requirements, such as performance bonds, damage deposits, driver sponsorship agreements and license charges.
Once the new policy is in place, existing approved TLS license-holders will be invited to apply to be accepted into the new system. Applicants will need to meet the new standards and requirements spelled out in a new contract.
The intent is to have the new system up and running by February 1, 2015. The total number of licensed trucks in the system will be reduced so as to ensure long-term stability of the system. It is expected some existing companies and independent owner operators will not participate under the new policy. Assistance will be available to help the trucking sector through the transition to the new licensing system.
Port Metro Vancouver's goal is to be a world leader in supply chain competitiveness and sustainability. The reform of the TLS will provide the tools necessary to effectively and consistently enforce rate compliance and put the port and the container trucking sector that serves it on solid footing.
The TLS reform will happen in concert with the Province of B.C.'s fall legislation, to bring into force retroactive rate regulation for the marine container trucking companies serving Port Metro Vancouver, establish a new independent Container Trucking Commissioner, and call for the immediate establishment of an Industry Advisory Committee. The Commissioner will be independent of government and will assume responsibility for all TLS licences in place following the planned reforms by Port Metro Vancouver, and will administer future truck licenses.
This statement may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information: Jana Régimbal, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055; Government Communications and Public Engagement, B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure,250-356-8241