The Canadian Trucking Alliance is preparing for "massive" disruption to Canadian businesses due to impending U.S. government spending cuts, known as sequestration, which are expected to take effect today.
The association said Canadian trade with the United States, which accounts for more than 80 percent of all manufacturing output, could be dealt a huge blow.
The association is also worried about what effects the automatic spending cuts will have on U.S. Customs staffing at the shared border between the two nations. Since roughly two thirds of trucked Canadian goods destined for the United States, CTA officials said they will encourage truckers to pass the border during off-peak periods, whenever possible.
CTA President and Chief Executive Officer David Bradley said he remembers that just a few years ago the Canadian-U.S. border was a mess, which sometimes caused truck drivers to wait in line for hours.
"Manufacturers and retailers were forced to hold costly inventories to cope with uncertain border transit times and just-in-time turned into just-in-case," he said in a statement. “At this point, the only thing we can do is prepare for the worst. Whether a last-ditch deal can be made or the full-brunt of the cuts would be felt immediately, we just don’t know. We are entering the unknown and uncertainty can be just as bad as actual delays." - Jon Ross