United Truckers Association calls for container trucking to be deemed essential service

THE United Truckers Association (UTA) is asking the provincial government to deem container trucking an essential service amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

With product shortages and strict purchasing limits now becoming the norm across British Columbia, and indeed Canada, the UTA is petitioning to have the critical nature of supply chain integrity, and the role that container trucks play in that, recognized by the BC government.

A recent phone call with the Port of Vancouver, as well as numerous false rumours being spread through social media, have prompted the UTA to make this request, according to spokesperson Gagan Singh.

“Anonymous calls to have container trucking services shut down have emerged over the past week, which is also prompting concern from the Port of Vancouver’s logistics team,” said Singh. “At this point in history, however, container trucking services are needed more than ever to ensure that Canadians have the products they require to keep their families safe and secure.”

The UTA, which represents close to 1,000 independent operator container trucks, is leading efforts to ensure that working environments are adhering to all declarations emerging from public health authorities. It was a series of letters sent by the organization to the Port of Vancouver and various marine terminal operators, which resulted in policy changes that removed physical contact from gate entry procedures.

The UTA maintains that members can continue to work responsibly while still fulfilling their role in the continuity of the country’s supply chain.

“The safety of our communities across British Columbia and Canada is the number 1 priority for the UTA and our membership, which is necessitating both changes in how we operate as well as ensuring that essential goods continue to get into the hands of consumers,” said Singh. “The UTA is adjusting like everyone else in society, while still living up to our responsibilities to all Canadians.”