Third of B.C. trucking companies have already laid off drivers and it may get worse - InfoNews

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Third of B.C. trucking companies have already laid off drivers and it may get worse

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April 17, 2020 - 7:00 PM

Over half of all trucking companies in the province expect to lay drivers off by the end of the month, according to the B.C Trucking Association.

Currently, 37 per cent of trucking companies in B.C. have already laid off staff, and 57 per cent expect to have to lay off drivers by the end of April.

The numbers come from an online survey sent out by the B.C Trucking Association.

B.C. Trucking Association CEO and president Dave Earle said truckers are facing increased costs due to "empty miles" where trucks have to travel without a load.

Earle said half of all respondents to the survey said costs had increased and the vast majority of that came from empty miles.

The decrease in the price of diesel made little difference to offset increased expenses, he said.

Despite the bump in consumer goods consumption mid-March, three-quarters of all companies surveyed reported at least a 10 per cent drop in revenue.

Earle said COVID-19 is taking its toll on the trucking industry like many other industries.

"Some businesses will not survive, re-starting will be difficult for some, impossible for others, but some companies will emerge relatively intact," he said.

The online survey had a 25 per cent response rate with 100 members replying to the survey.

Earle said the survey had a greater response by far than any other online survey the association had ever done.

According to the figures from 2017 around 95,000 trucks across the Canada-U.S border in the Lower Mainland each month, accounting for $67 million in cross border trade every day.

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