Canadian Trucker Threat for Real, Group Says

Public and private enterprises in Canada should believe the threats of independent truckers to slow and even shut down that nation's national highway transport system to protest high diesel fuel costs, says a Canadian shipper organization.

Jeanette Rennie, executive vice-president of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, said in a press release that trucks move 90% of the materials used by businesses and consumers north of the United States border. Therefore, disruptions in Canada's trucking industry - such as high fuel prices - will be felt throughout the nation's economy.

"Truckers have a stranglehold on the business and consumer supply chain" in Canada, she said. "In turn, freight brokers have a stranglehold on truckers. That means the (supply chain) system is highly vulnerable."

Rennie said one cause for the fuel price backlash among independent trucks could be related to broker contracts.

"The government hasn't given a lot of thought to the economic relationship between brokers and truckers," she said. "Broker contracts pass on fuel costs. I am not so sure that a lot of money is making its way to the trucker, who has to reach into his own wallet at the pump."

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