Private trucking fleets make up over 50% of the Canadian medium- and heavy-truck industry.  Many companies operate their own fleet of trucks and drivers as they believe it is the most cost-effective way to deliver products to their customers, and many feel that the unique needs of their business could not be met by a 3rd-party trucking provider.

However, the fleet outsourcing model is becoming increasingly popular in North America.  Companies who outsource their private fleet are seeing positive results from both a cost and a customer service standpoint.  Fleet outsourcing firms, like Canada Cartage, provide dedicated, contract services to companies and assume the equipment, the drivers, and the responsibility of safely and consistently delivering high levels of customer service.

Fleet outsourcing isn’t the right solution for all companies, but many successful Canadian firms are reaping the benefits of improved customer service and reduced corporate risk by converting their private fleet.  Let’s take a closer look at fleet outsourcing and dispel some common myths to help you better understand which model makes strategic sense for your company.

Myth #1 – Customer service will suffer

Fleet outsourcing providers such as Canada Cartage partner with their customers by supplying branded trucks and drivers that are 100% dedicated to their account. These drivers get to know customers on a personal level. They travel the same routes and make the same deliveries on a daily basis, giving them the ability to build strong relationships with customers. According to Clifford Lynch in Why Shippers Can’t Afford NOT to Convert Their Private Fleets, “…many companies find that service levels measurably improve after a private fleet conversion.” (Logistics Quarterly, Volume 13, Issue 3).

Myth #2 – Loss of control

Companies can maintain the same level of control when using the right outsourced fleet provider.  At times, they will gain even more control by having additional drivers and equipment at their disposal for emergency deliveries that can be made with very little notice.  Canada Cartage’s customers have full control over their drivers’ schedule if they choose to.  Some customers prefer to manage routing and dispatching of drivers, while others prefer not to. And with customized KPIs and delivery details from on-board technology systems, customers are always fully aware of driver and delivery statuses.

Myth #3 – Outsourcing is more expensive

When the private fleet total cost of ownership (TCO) is considered, fleet outsourcing often proves to be less expensive than insourcing.  When private fleet owners consider the time and money dedicated to their transportation management, they find that focusing on their core competency and outsourcing their fleet becomes very cost competitive.

The majority of fleet operators have a good understanding of their direct costs (lease, fuel, labour, maintenance, insurance, licensing) but estimating their indirect costs (recruiting, hiring, training, regulatory compliance, safety, diversion of capital away from growth, financial risk and liability, etc.) is more challenging.  Canada Cartage provides complete visibility into these costs, giving customers 100% confidence in their fleet’s total cost, and more certainty in their fleet spend going forward. Once companies understand their TCO, the Canada Cartage value proposition, and available tools to reduce overall fleet spend, makes a compelling business case for private fleet operators.

Myth #4 – Current drivers will be laid-off

Reputable fleet outsourcing firms will look to hire the existing roster of drivers when a private fleet owner transitions to an outsourced model. In most cases, it’s in the carrier’s best interest to retain drivers that are familiar with the account, the customer, and the routes. With the ever-increasing driver shortage in the industry, reliable and experienced drivers are highly valuable to any company.

Myth #5 – Fleet outsourcing is too risky

Many private fleet operators continue to run their own trucks and drivers because they are unsure of the outcomes of converting to a fleet outsourcing model, and feel that outsourcing to a 3rd party might be too risky.   However, Canada Cartage has over 100 years of experience providing outsourced dedicated fleet services, and has full-time project management teams that specialize in converting private fleets to our outsourced model.  One customer commented that “…the day we converted to Canada Cartage, it was a seamless transition.  Our customers didn’t even realize that we had outsourced our fleet.”

The biggest risk associated with fleet outsourcing is choosing the right partner for your transportation needs. Before working with a provider, carefully evaluate their resources, experience, and track record of successfully managing similar fleet management implementations.

With fleet outsourcing, private fleet owners might feel like they are giving up control of their fleet and worry that their customer service will suffer, but that isn’t the case. By freeing up resources, private fleet operators can focus on their core business and leave the transportation of goods to the experts, like Canada Cartage, who’s been perfecting the model for over 100 years.

Interested in learning more? Contact info@canadacartage.com or download our Fleet Outsourcing Evaluation Guide for an objective viewpoint on the advantages and disadvantage of insourced versus outsourced fleet management.

Published by Truck News, June 5, 2017 —

OTTAWA, Ont. – Canada Cartage has announced its expansion in the Ottawa area, through the acquisition of the Fred Guy specialty flatdeck division and the opening of a new cross-dock terminal.

“Opening a new terminal and taking over the Fred Guy specialty flatdeck service is a natural and seamless transition for Canada Cartage,” the company said in a release. “With over 60 years’ experience in the home delivery market, Canada Cartage is looking forward to entering the Ottawa region.”

Canada Cartage says it has retained the Fred Guy drivers.

The new terminal is located at 3220 Hawthorne Road in Ottawa.

“This expansion will further grow Canada Cartage’s services in the nation’s capital region by providing services in Ottawa and the 401 corridor including Carleton Place, Cornwall, Pembroke, Brockville, Kingston, Belleville, Cobourg, Bowmanville, and Peterborough,” the company announced.

Read more at  Truck News.

Canada Cartage is an environmental leader in the Canadian transportation industry.  We are an accredited member of the SmartWay® program, a public-private initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution created by the freight transportation industry.

Specific initiatives that we have adopted in the past five years include:

  • Installed telematics devices in all tractors (2006 models or newer); these devices produce reports that help improve miles per gallon results by pinpointing units/drivers with excessive idle time, hard braking incidents, and fast acceleration driving patterns
  • Analyse telematics reports and transportation routing software to reduce miles traveled to make deliveries, as well as reduce empty miles
  • Extend fluid and filter changes to the greatest extent possible, while still maintaining safe and reliable vehicles that meet performance standards
  • Use recap tires where possible, without sacrificing safety
  • Recycle all used engine fluids, filters, and truck and trailer parts
  • Govern the road speed of our vehicles to 105 kilometers/hour maximum speed (even in jurisdictions where this is not required by law)
  • Educate our driving staff on fuel efficient driving techniques, and update all driving staff as we learn and develop new techniques
  • Investigate fuel saving technologies when procuring new vehicles
  • Investigate the addition of fuel saving technologies on existing equipment
  • Discuss environmental issues with customers and business partners to develop best practice sharing opportunities
  • Educate internal staff on environmental topics, and encourage staff to participate by bringing new ideas to management
  • Hold our management team accountable to ensure that staff are doing whatever possible to reduce our environmental footprint

Published by MM&D, May 25, 2017 —

This is the fourth year in a row that Canada Cartage has been recognized by Coca-Cola for their services

TORONTO, ON – Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada’s (CCRC) presented Canada Cartage with the 2016 Transportation Short Haul Carrier of the Year award at the beverage company’s second annual Canadian awards reception in Toronto this spring.

The award was given to Canada Cartage for finding new, more efficient ways to do business that resulted in lower costs and a reduced environmental impact.

President and CEO for Canada Cartage, Jeff Lindsay, said: “Canada Cartage is proud to accept this award. Providing the best and most efficient service to our customers is at the core of everything we do.”

This is the fourth year in a row that Canada Cartage has been recognized by Coca-Cola for their services. In 2013 and 2014, Canada Cartage was the proud recipient of Coca-Cola Refreshments’ Canadian Carrier of the Year award.

Read more at  MM&D.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 30th annual International Roadcheck will take place on June 6 – 8, 2017.

What is International Roadcheck?

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted commercial vehicle enforcement program in the world, with an average of 17 trucks inspected every minute in Canada, the United States, and Mexico over a 72-hour period. Since its inception, more than 1.5 million roadside inspections have been conducted.

Emphasis for 2017: Cargo Securement

Officers will be doing full Level 1 inspections – a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.   While checking for compliance with safe cargo securement regulations is always part of roadside inspections, CVSA is highlighting cargo securement safety this year as a reminder of its importance to highway safety.

Drivers will be:

  • Asked to provide license, hours-of-service documentation, motor carrier registration and shipping documentation;
  • Checked for seat belt usage and the use of alcohol and/or drugs; and
  • Participating in vehicle inspections that include braking systems, securement of cargo, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices (required lamps), steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers.

In conjunction with the CVSA, the Canada Cartage Safety & Compliance teams will be out doing spot check inspections and job site observations across the country.

For more information, visit CVSA.org or contact Canada Cartage for more information.

Published by Canadian Shipper, April 28, 2017 —

TORONTO, ON – Canada Cartage is once again being recognized as one of the country’s top fleet employers by receiving the “2017 Top Fleet Employer” award. The award, bestowed by Trucking HR Canada, honours the best workplaces in Canada’s trucking industry.

Fleets of every size were rated on topics including recruitment and retention practices, workplace culture, compensation, training and skills development, and innovative HR practices. The award was evaluated based on a comprehensive application process, driver and staff surveys, and follow-up interviews.

Canada Cartage was one of only eleven Canadian companies who received the 2017 Large Fleets award.

“I congratulate Canada Cartage on their continued success and commitment to HR best practices” said Angela Splinter, Chief Executive Officer of Trucking HR Canada.

“We are very pleased to receive the Top Fleet Employer award again this year” said Brad Gehring, Vice President, Human Resources.

“Our teams across the country work hard to make Canada Cartage a great place to work and receiving this award two years in a row is a testament to our ongoing commitment to our drivers and staff.”

The Top Fleet Employers selection criteria, which has been validated by trucking industry experts, is reviewed annually to ensure an accurate reflection of human resources issues, trends, and today’s working environments.

Read more at  Canadian Shipper.

As winter turns to spring in Canada, the layers of materials that compose roads are significantly weakened by an excessive amount of water in the road base, as a result of the annual spring thaw. Studies conducted by the provincial transportation ministries and Canadian Highway Research programs have shown that pavement reactions to a load are 50% to 70% greater in the spring than any other season. For trucks travelling across highways every day, this means that the same axle can cause between five to eight times more damage to the road in the spring than it would at any other time of the year.

In order to reduce the amount of damage done to roads, every Canadian province issues an annual “Spring Thaw” policy. Enforced by the province, the policy restricts loads carried across at-risk highways for a fixed period. For example, in 2017, Ontario’s spring thaw restrictions will run from March to June in some areas of the province, whereas highways in New Brunswick will be regulated from March to May.

The extent of the restrictions, technical criteria, and time period can fluctuate and are dependent on the condition of the road and by region.

2017 Spring Thaw Periods By Province

ProvinceZones/CountiesSpring Thaw Dates
British Columbia1Spring thaw dates differ by region
Alberta2March 20 until further notice
Saskatchewan3March 20 until further notice
Manitoba4Zone 1March 20 – May 31
Zone 2March 27 – May 31
Zone 3March 31 – June 10
Ontario5Schedule 1 HighwaysMarch 1 – April 30
Schedule 2 HighwaysMarch 1 – May 31
Schedule 3 HighwaysMarch 1 – June 30
Quebec6Zone 1Feb 27 – April 28
Zone 2March 27 – May 26
Zone 3March 27 – May 26
New Brunswick7March 5 – May 14
Northern New BrunswickMarch 12 – May 21
Nova Scotia8Yarmouth, Shelburne, Lunenburg, Digby, Annapolis, Kings CountiesMarch 6 – May 8
Halifax, Hants CountiesMarch 6 – May 8
Colchester, Cumberland, Pictou CountiesMarch 13 – May 15
Antigonish, Guysborough, Richmond, Inverness, Victoria, Cape Breton CountiesMarch 13 – May 15

2017 Spring Thaw Weight Restrictions

Road reductions impose restrictions on vehicle load weight and size. This will usually include limitations on vehicle length, axle load and spread, and the total loaded mass of vehicles and vehicle combinations.

On average, 50 – 90% reductions are imposed on carriers during spring thaw; the exact limits are determined based on highway class, annual frost, and road tolerance testing. Although primary highway networks are excluded from regulations, it is not uncommon for highways to be temporarily re-classified during this period and subjected to seasonal load limits.

The following table shows a sampling of the extent of spring weight restrictions for Québec and Ontario, by axle weight.

ProvinceLoad RestrictionCompare To Basic Regulation
QuébecReduced tandem axle weight of 15,500 kgDown from 18,800 kg
QuébecReduced tridem axle weight for 2.4m –
< 3m axle spread of 18,000 kg
Down from 21,000 kg
QuébecReduced tridem axle weight for 3m –
< 3.6m axle spread of 21,000 kg
Down from 24,000 kg
QuébecReduced tridem axle weight for 3.6m – 3.7m axle spread of 22,000 kgDown from 26,000 kg
Ontario5 tonnes (5,000kg) per axle where postedDown from normal Highway Traffic Act standards

More detailed information about spring road and weight regulations by province can be found here:

British Columbia
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario
Québec
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador

It is important to note that spring weights may change without any notice, based on weather conditions.

Load Inspection and Penalties During Spring Thaw

Under the Canadian safety and compliance policy, vehicles that exceed the load limits upon inspection will not be allowed to proceed until they meet the weight restrictions. This policy immediately prevents overloaded trucks from further damaging the road. Truck drivers must either spread the load more evenly between axles or unload any excess weight before proceeding to drive. It’s important to recognize that not only do overloaded trucks cause destruction on the roads, but excess weight can also affect the vehicle’s performance and on-road safety.

Penalties for not meeting spring thaw regulations will cost the carrier money, time, and demerits. The monetary penalties start at $350, the vehicle is held at roadside until overweight is removed, and the carrier will also receive points against their NSC (National Safety Code) profile.

Spring Thaw Preparation Tips & Best Practices

  1. Collect Regulatory Information Early

  2. Details about the limits for highways in each province are posted on the provincial transportation ministries’ website.

  3. Engage In Pro-active And Consistent Communication

  4. Operations Managers and Safety & Compliance departments should regularly communicate restriction guidelines to dispatchers, drivers, and operations teams.

  5. Provide Appropriate Training To Drivers

  6. Ensuring that drivers are properly trained and aware of load restrictions is important. If drivers are not educated on how to prepare a load, or a vehicle, to meet weight restrictions, it will cost the carrier upon inspection.

  7. Put Operations and Safety And Compliance Measures In Place

  8. Companies should put training and/or instructional programs in place to ensure compliance with Spring Thaw regulations. Failure to do so can result in steep penalties, downtime, vehicle performance, and ultimately, road safety.

Looking for more trucking resources? Find more information here or learn more about the services Canada Cartage offers.

Published by Cantech Letter, April 4, 2017 —

TORONTO, ON – Canada Cartage, the country’s largest provider of outsourced fleet solutions, has selected Omnitracs’ XRS platform for its Hours of Service application to become compliant in advance of the U.S. ELD Mandate, which will take effect later this year.

The Omnitracs XRS platform brings enterprise-grade fleet solutions to smartphones, tablets, or rugged handheld devices and will provide full government compliance with a suite of optimization tools. By deploying Omnitracs’ XRS solutions, Canada Cartage will maintain their reputation as a world-class provider of dedicated fleet services. Canada Cartage is adding compliance tools and technology to its fleet to ensure they are meeting customers’ needs and remaining compliant.

“Canada Cartage completed an exhaustive review of several eLog solutions prior to selecting Omnitracs’ XRS system,” said Daniel Roy, Vice President, Information Technology and CIO. “We wanted a solution that was robust with a solid market presence that would complement our existing application suite. XRS proved to be a solution that met all of our criteria.”

“Omnitracs is extremely proud to add Canada Cartage to our customer base,” said Mike Ham, GM of Omnitracs Canada. “They have built an organization focused on innovation, driver safety, and consistently meeting customer needs.”

Initially, Canada Cartage will roll out XRS’ Hours of Service, and IFTA Reporting applications. The company will look to other XRS safety, compliance, and productivity applications for future value.

Read more at  Cantech Letter.

Transportation costs are on the rise – and by a lot. Rising insurance premiums, higher maintenance costs, foreign exchange rates, inflation, tire prices, and industry mandates are all contributing to serious strategic discussions among carriers and private fleet owners on how to maintain a viable business. For some smaller companies, it could even become cost prohibitive to run their own fleet of trucks.

Insurance – Insurance premiums are expected to rise again in 2017 – increasing annual payments significantly for some carriers. These hikes are due to several factors including large claims in the industry and some big insurance carriers getting out of the trucking industry altogether. “With trucking insurance firms hiking premiums 10% to 30% in the wake of big claims, and with major companies such as Zurich Insurance Group AG and American International Group Inc. (AIG) exiting the for-hire insurance market, it’s suddenly much tougher – and much more expensive – for truckers to obtain adequate coverage.” said Sean Kilcarr, Executive Editor at Fleet Owner.

Maintenance – Maintenance costs are increasing, in many ways as a result of new truck technology. Technology designed to reduce emissions and make heavy-duty truck engines compliant with the 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations is resulting in more heavy-duty truck owners experiencing problems with the engine.  “At the industry level, the new, more complex engines designed to meet EPA regulations are resulting in additional problems and downtime, which also has a financial impact on owners because they’re not making money when their truck is down for service,” said Brent Gruber, Director of the Commercial Vehicle Practice at J.D. Power and Associates. Qualified technicians who are trained on the new technology are also in high demand – resulting in increased wages and costs to carriers.

Foreign exchange – Carriers and Owner-Operators looking to replace aging equipment will be adversely affected again this year by the weak Canadian dollar. Since Canadian truck dealers purchase equipment from U.S. manufacturers, truck prices are heavily impacted by the currency rate. 5 years ago, the Canadian dollar was at par with the U.S. greenback, so a $100,000 USD truck back then would cost you $100,000 CD.   Today, that same $100,000 USD truck would cost you $130,930 CD, or approximately 30% more than what you are currently paying for essentially the same truck. According to James Menzies, editor of Truck News, “…not only does it add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a new truck, it has an effect on just about anything else you need to buy to support your business,” including replacement parts and consumables.

Inflation – The Inflation Rate in Canada is expected to be 1.70 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations. Looking forward, they estimate the inflation rate in Canada to stand at 2 percent in 12 months’ time. While these inflation rates aren’t considered “high” by many experts, it continues to drive the price of goods and services up for Canadian consumers and businesses in 2017.

Industry mandates – Government changes will also have a large impact on trucking companies. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) will be mandatory for carriers in the U.S. on December 18, 2017, including Canadian drivers operating into and out of the U.S.  The costs range from an annualized price of $165 to $832 per truck, plus “back-end” IT costs to integrate the ELD data. The mandatory use of ELDs in Canada is expected as early as 2018. These regulatory changes will drive operating costs even higher for fleet operators.

Tire prices – Michelin North America and Yokohama recently announced heavy truck tire prices are set to go up by as much as 7 or 8%. This price increase is due to a combination of raw material prices, technology enhancements, innovations, and market conditions.

Rising insurance premiums, higher maintenance costs, foreign exchange rates, inflation, tire prices, and industry mandates are increasing costs at a staggering rate for companies operating a fleet of trucks. While all carriers are feeling the pain of increasing costs, some smaller carriers and private fleet owners could decide that the costs of running a fleet outweigh the benefits.

If you are interested in better understanding your private fleet’s Total Cost of Ownership, or learning more about Canada Cartage’s unique fleet outsourcing model, email us at info@canadacartage.com.

Published by The Trucking Network, February 17, 2017 —

TORONTO, ON – Canada Cartage is being recognized as one of Canada’s Best Employers for 2017 by Forbes magazine. The results of an independent survey conducted by Statistica, revealed that Canada Cartage ranked as both a top employer in Canada and a top employer in the Transportation & Logistics industry.

“We are very pleased to see Canada Cartage on the list of top employers. This award supports our commitment to our employees through our employee recognition program, training and career advancement opportunities, tuition reimbursement, local events throughout the year, annual scholarships, and our strong family culture,” says Jeff Lindsay, President and CEO of Canada Cartage.

More than 8,000 Canadian workers were surveyed to determine, on a scale of zero to ten, how likely they were to recommend their employer to someone else and how they felt about the other employers in their respective industry. The resulting list includes 300 employers across 25 industries.

Read more at  The Trucking Network.