The primary role of the Freight Management Association of Canada (FMA) is government relations on behalf of the buyers of freight transportation. FMA has contact with all levels of government in Canada, various agencies of the U.S. government and with United Nations agencies and other international bodies.
Current issues in 2020 that FMA has been following are shown below, along with emerging issues expected in 2021.
FMA Continuing Relationships with Government and Other Associations
- FMA continued to participate in the Global Shippers Forum.
- The Coalition of Rail Shippers (CRS), which FMA chairs, is an informal coalition of 19 industry associations whose member companies are all large rail freight users
- In September 2021, the FMA and the CITT entered into an agreement of mutual support which brings advantages to members of each organization.
- The FMA has regular contact with the Western Canadian Short-line Railway Association and has an informal information sharing agreement.
- FMA Interacts on a regular basis with the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada.
- FMA maintains a reciprocal membership agreement with the U.S. National Industrial Transportation League (NITL)
- FMA has a limited information sharing agreement with the Shipping Federation of Canada
- FMA maintains informal dialogue with the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Railway Association of Canada
- FMA meets on a regular basis with staff of Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency
Member Consulting Service – Rail Shipper Legal Protections
The Canada Transportation Act (CTA) was created to provide shippers with tools to level the playing field in dealing with rail carriers. The Act provides shipper provisions that allow the shipper to get better service, pay a fair rate and settle disputes with rail partners. The FMA can help member companies navigate the regulatory landscape and offer strategies to counteract the imbalance in bargaining power between the railways and shippers.
With this consulting service, individual FMA member companies can bring their transportation teams together for a two-day dedicated, interactive strategic planning session to learn, discuss, plan, and take concrete action to help manage their rail issues. All sessions are confidential. In the wake of COVID-19, sessions are being held virtually until public health authorities allow for in-person gatherings.
Major Issues 2021 and 2022
- Aircraft conversion during Covid-19
- Container Line COVID-19 Service Disruptions and Pricing escalation
- Shipping Conferences Exemption Act (SCEA) exempting marine carriers from some provisions of Canada’s competition laws – looking at repeal or changes
- Container Decontamination – Control of invasive species
- Port Labour Agreements.
- Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) decision on Canadian Transportation Agency own motion investigation of CN service disruptions in Vancouver
- Transport Canada New Data Regulations
- CP-KCS merger
- Canada Transportation Act (CTA) Review of Shipper Protection Provisions
- Monitoring expiring major transportation industry labour contracts
- BC Disruptions due to fire and flooding
- Expiring Railway Labour Agreements Dec. 2021 and in 2022
- Hours-of-Service Regulations – Drivers’ exemption.
- Regulations mandating Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) & June 12, 2021 implementation and June 2022 enforcement.
- Canada Border Services Agency labour dispute with border agents
- Driver shortage, short term and long term
- Canada & US Cross-border vaccination regulations beginning January 2022
- Diesel prices
- BC Disruptions due to flooding
The above information lists the issues of which FMA is aware at the end of November 2021. Each year, there are of course, issues that emerge that could not have been anticipated and FMA attempts to keep the membership informed as such issues emerge.
November 29, 2021