Issues, Actions and Initiatives 2023 and Outlook 2024.

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 2023 that FMA has been following are shown below, along with anticipated issues in 2024.

Issues 2023

All Modes

  • COVID-19 Supply Chain Impacts

Air Cargo

  • E-Commerce – eliminating paper documentation
  • Carbon reduction initiatives

Marine Freight

  • Future of Shipping Alliances – Legal cartels Shipping Conferences Exemption Act (SCEA)
  • Container Decontamination – Control of invasive species
  • Port Labour Disruptions

Rail Freight

  • Extended Interswitching Limits to 160 km – 18-month trial period
  • Service Issues: on-time performance, car supply
  • Ancillary charge tariffs – rail detention charges, fuel surcharges
  • Transport Canada Rail Review: Submitted comments on specific topics

Road Freight

  • Hours-of-Service Regulations – Drivers
  • Driver shortage
  • Harmonization of truck size & weight regulations across provinces
  • Introduction of Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations

Extending FMA Outreach

  • Extended communications with Labour Canada on transportation labour agreements
  • Extended communications with Competition Bureau on container ocean service
  • Continued participation in Natural Resources Canada update meetings on rail service
  • Maintained communications with Transport Canada on policy issues
  • Maintained communications with Canadian Transportation Agency on regulations
  • Global Shippers Forum – FMA is the Canadian member
  • National Industrial Transportation League U.S. – FMA & NITL have reciprocal memberships
  • Coalition of Rail Shippers – FMA Chairs – A broad coalition focusing on rail freight issues

Outlook 2024

Each year, issues arise that are unexpected, but as we approach 2024, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting disruptions to global supply chains is declining. FMA is aware of matters outlined below that will have an impact on shippers in 2024 and beyond. FMA will be pursuing these with the appropriate Canadian or international authorities, communicating these to the membership, and obtaining member input and feedback to place before the appropriate authorities.

All Modes

  • Review of Section 106 of the Canadian Labour code
  • National Supply Chain Office in Canada and Multimodal Freight Office in the US

Marine Freight

  • Repeal & replace the Shipping Conferences Exemption Act
  • Advocate for changes in Canadian competition law related to shipping alliances
  • Work with GSF and Canadian authorities on invasive species control related to ocean containers

Rail Freight

  • evaluate the temporary extension of inter-switching limits
  • possible changes to CT Act: railway contracts limiting shipper access to CT Agency dispute resolution
  • ancillary charges, particularly detention, demurrage, and fuel surcharges
  • service quality, car supply, on-time delivery & pick-up of cars
  • container terminal congestion
  • monitor major rail labour agreements expiring December 31, 2023

Road Freight

  • Driver shortages & improvements in immigration policy to bring in more drivers
  • Harmonization of truck size & weight issues, dialogue with Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

John Corey, CPA, CA
November 13, 2023