All across Canada, there is an ever-present need for quality carrier services for many industries, ranging from foodstuffs to furniture to cars and auto parts. After all, it is not enough to merely produce finished goods or materials; there must be a way to transport these goods to and from warehouses and retailers, and this is where a carrier service enters the picture. A food warehouse will have carrier trucks coming and going all the time, and commercial logistics are logged by many carriers and shippers to ensure a smooth and efficient delivery and to keep track of the industry as a whole. Trucking companies are most often carrier companies, and they are always ready and willing to find client companies to ship for. Just how large is the Canadian carrier industry today, and what are all these trucks carrying? One might also consider the different strategies for special shipments, such as multiple small loads or sensitive or even dangerous cargo.
Canadian Trucking Today
Today, the Canadian trucking industry is a big one, and this is to match the vigorous Canadian production and manufacturing sector. The Canadian Trucking Alliance, for one, has reported that across the nation, the trucking industry is worth close to $65 billion and employs over 400,000 people as a whole, which includes over 260,000 drivers. Most often, Canadian products are delivered by truck, which often have the advantage of being independent of railroads. As of 2012, statistics showed that around 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs alike were shipped in trucks across Canada. Trade with the United States to the south often involves a large truck fleet, and about two-thirds of Canadian-American trading is done by truck, and trucks move more than 80% of all American exports coming into Canada. A lot of trucking and carrier work being done across Canada is for foodstuffs. Current statistic show that the food and beverage processing industry is Canada’s second-largest manufacturing industry in terms of value of productions, and back in 2014, shipment total value came to $105.5 bi8llion. What is more, this industry accounts for around 17% of all manufacturing shipments and 2% of Canada’s entire GDP, or Gross Domestic Product. How might these shipments be done?
Not all trucks or cargo loads are the same, so some special strategies may need to be used at times. Larger retailers or grocery stores often have the simplest arrangements: a number of trucks will carry full loads of cargo for that shipper, and deliver them to and from warehouses, distribution centers, and retailers. Other times, a shipper may have a much smaller load, and such loads will fill only a fraction of the volume of a truck. In this case, LTL, or less than truckload, shipping is done. This means that a truck will carry cargo for several different shippers at the same time, and shippers only pay for the volume of their respective cargo loads and the truck maintains its delivery efficiency by carrying a full cargo bay. This can be a real boon for smaller shippers, since it would be very cost-ineffective to pay for a lot of unused cargo space in a truck. In these cases, there may be some leftover room in the truck, and cargo can be secured with ropes or binding, wooden pallets, and other means of preventing cargo from falling over, jostling around, or otherwise getting traumatized during a trip.
Some cargo calls for special accommodations, and some trucks will be designed to carry only special cargo. Temperature may be one such issue. Frozen or chilled food and groceries such as dairy, wine, or frozen processed food cannot afford to sit around in a hot truck’s cargo bay, so reefer trucks, or those with a chilled cargo bay, are used instead. These trucks will carry their temperature-sensitive cargo to warehouses, and crews can move these items to coolers or freezers on-site. The same is true when such items are delivered to a retailer.
Some trucks carry hazardous materials such as dry ice, liquid nitrogen, or flammable natural gas or oil. In this case, crews will need special training and equipment to deliver these items safely, and the truck may be designed accordingly.