Canada says cross-border truckers need to be vaccinated – Fleet Management

The United States and Canada have said all cross-border travelers, including truck drivers, must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination starting in January.

Photo: Jim Park

Canada has announced that it will require truck drivers – American and Canadian – to be doubly vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus by January 15 when entering Canada. The announcement comes weeks after the Biden administration proposed a mandate requiring all Canadian cross-border truck drivers to be vaccinated by January 2022.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance is calling on Canadian and US officials to give the industry more time to prepare. CTA has warned that a hasty implementation could lead to even more problems for the North American supply chain which already faces challenges associated with the driver shortage. The January deadline gives long-haul drivers little time to organize the two shots, given the time they spend away from home, the association said.

Until now, truck drivers, defined as essential workers, were allowed to cross the border to work while it was closed to non-essential traffic.

The CTA had already expressed concern last month when the United States announced that it would require all incoming foreign nationals, essential or not, prove that they are doubly vaccinated starting in January. He fully expected the Canadian government to respond in the same way.

According to the CTA, about 70% of the $ 648 billion in trade between the two countries is moved by truck. There are 120,000 Canadians who operate across borders and 40,000 American licensed drivers trade north-south.

“We are extremely concerned that a perfect storm is brewing,” CTA President Stephen Laskowski said. “In light of the supply chain disruptions and delays around the world, it is unclear how the supply chain and the trucking industry, in particular, can withstand further turbulence and maintain fuel levels. service required to deliver the essential products that Canadians and Americans need. ”

The CTA said it conservatively estimates that 10-20% of Canadian truck drivers crossing the border (12,000-22,000) and 40% of US truck drivers (16,000) traveling in Canada would exit cross-border trade if the requirement vaccine comes into force. as expected.

“It is not at all clear how the industry and the supply chain can compensate for the thousands of drivers who abruptly leave the system overnight,” Laskowski said. “Make no mistake, if this mandate goes ahead as planned, it will have significant consequences for the cross-border economy, which will be felt by Canadians and Americans. “

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