It is common to see a reputable trucking company in Canada that manages the complex process of over-sized shipments that need to cross the border to reach the United States. The trucking industry is a large part of the economy because they handle the shipment of consumer goods including heavy equipment. However, how will the trucking industry handle the threat of COVID-19 and the restrictions to cross-border travel?
Health officials are asking the British Columbians not to leave the country but it is business as usual for trucking companies because goods have to cross B.C. and Washington border. According to David Earle, president of B.C. Trucking Association, that represents 12,000 fleets from 400 trucking companies across the country, there is no decrease in trucks crossing the border.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry clarified that truckers are exempted from the travel advisory imposed on residents. Self-isolation is required for 14 days when a resident returns from any US travel in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Trucking companies have their own systems of hygiene and assessment of symptoms.
Earle said that the B.C. government does not have the authority to stop cross-border travel. However, B.C. Premier John Horgan is trying to convince Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to increase federal restrictions imposed on land border crossings.
A Langley-based trucking association is drafting a “best practices” model for tens of thousands of truck drivers who drive to and from the US particularly those who drive to Washington State that has more than 550 confirmed infections.
Truck drivers practice 99% social distancing because they are isolated inside their trucks. Based on the trucking protocol, truckers have to voluntarily quarantine themselves when they do not have trips to the US. Canada’s Border Services Agency said that there are current screening measures to assess any potential health risks of spreading the new virus.
It is business as usual for a reputable trucking company because businesses are dependent on their services to move products to other areas. Trucking companies also allow businesses to get the supplies needed to run their companies. Without a trucking industry, the economy will take a big hit.