Both the U.S. and Canada are facing critical carrier truck driver shortages. A study conducted in 2016 by the Trucking Alliance of Canada estimated that the industry will be short a shocking 34,000 drivers by 2024; one container trucking company in Northern Ontario has already been forced to leave 20 trucks sitting idle due to the dropoff in interested workers. “The driver shortage became more acute in 2018 due to the fact that we have a large percentage of individuals over the age of 55 driving,” said Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) president Stephen Laskowski, who also happens to be the president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). “We’re facing older demographics, more retirements and, at the same time, more demand. It’s only expected it to get worse in 2019. This is an issue from a supply-chain perspective and we need to find a solution to it.” Heavy haul and container trucking companies make up a large portion of Canada’s internal transportation of goods: an estimated 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs (the latter of which accounts for 2% of the national Gross Domestic Product) is shipped by truck. As a result of these desperate times, the OTA is calling on the provincial government to launch a pilot program that would allow freight carriers to bring in immigrant workers to fill the shortage. “We are currently exploring how our programs can maximize our annual Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) nomination allocation to help alleviate these shortages and provide support through economic immigration,” said Kwok Wong, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. The OINP program was inspired by a 2017 initiative that focused on attracting workers to specific jobs in construction and agriculture sectors. “A pilot program would allow us to have a heck of a lot more access to overseas labor and make sure that that labor ends up with the carriers that are investing in their companies,” Laskowski said. Every container trucking company — from the smallest startup to the biggest business — would benefit from the implementation of such a program.
On October 17, Canada made history as it became the second country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana nationwide. While many are still celebrating, others are seeing green in the form of dollar signs. Molson Coors, the well-known beer producer, has been in a slump for the past few years as Amy Michtich, chief supply chain officer at Molson Coors Canada, explained. “Our business is tough right now. Our share continues to underperform, and so do our stocks.” Michtich claims that consumers across the globe are drinking less alcohol, and those who do are beginning to prefer wine and spirits over beer. As Canada moved to legalize cannabis, and provided easier access to an extremely popular alternative to beer, one would’ve expected the beer makers to be quaking in their boots. However, the opposite turned out to be the case: Molson Coors is instead looking to produce cannabis-infused beer. Michtich claims that the main change will be in the food and beverage logistics: “At the end of the day, it is really changing the supply chain,” she said. “The alcohol industry has been tapped to make sure we understand what the regulations are for us to distribute.” Currently, cannabis-infused food and drink products are not included in the legalization law, but Molson expects the products to become legal by the next year. With commercial logistics (which includes warehousing and distribution services) embodying such a large part of the supply chain (90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs are shipped via truck throughout Canada), it is vital that trucking companies and carriers are prepared to keep pace with any updates. If the change coming is as profound as Michtich believes it will be, those involved in commercial logistics need to be ready. Michtich’s beliefs and expectations have been supported by current demand. As soon as cannabis became legal, the supply chain was drawn taut; demand was far greater than supply, and the details of transportation had not quite been worked out yet. As a result, many companies understood the likelihood of marijuana shortages within the first few months of the law going into effect. They had been proven correct as the supply chain is slowly working to balance itself out.
Working as an EHS coordinator can be exhausting. Whether you’re a construction safety consultant or an environmental engineer, it takes a lot of passion and a lot of effort to continue forging ahead in a demanding career path. Here’s how to tell if you’re on the right path or if you need to look for other safety jobs.