COVID-19 has tremendously shifted the way our society operates. And as we are inundated with updates on a near hourly-basis, it’s no simple task keeping up to date with the latest information. News on what’s going on in the trucking industry is no exception to this. Uncertain as times may be at the moment, logistics remains a service that Canadians trust and rely on.
So what can we expect? As of March 26th, supply chain services (cooling, storing, transportation, distribution, etc.) have been listed by the BC provincial government as an essential service. This means that the continuation of this service is crucial to our societal function. So certain exemptions will be made so that these services can continue as effectively as possible. For example, on March 25th, it was deemed mandatory under the Quarantine Act that any Canadian returning from domestic or international flights would have to self-isolate for 14 days. However this does not apply to transportation of commercial goods.
Additionally, the BC government is taking further precautions to continue the operations of supply chain services under its Emergency Program Act. Under this act, the provincial government can establish a Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit that will allow local authorities to direct the flow of essential goods to vulnerable communities with the cooperation of suppliers, distributors, and retailers, as well as the British Columbia Trucking Association (BCTA). Members of the supply chain in BC are making considerable efforts to deliver goods around the province, and as of yet, these measures are strictly a means to be prepared for the worst. Dave Earle, president and CEO of the BCTA, expressed that he appreciated the legislation for its commitment to preparedness, however he did not see it making any drastic changes to the industry.
Another benefit of the Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit is that it would protect consumers from the secondary sale market. Hoarding and price gouging have been an unfortunate response to COVID-19, and as such, the government has plans for quantity restrictions and prevention of goods like medical and cleaning supplies from being sold second-hand through this coordination with the supply chain.
In short, the trucking industry is going to play an important part in keeping BC residents safe and healthy in the coming months.
(source: trucknews.com) (source: cantruck.ca) (source: bccdc.ca)