ATA, CTA seek changes in cabotage rules

| 4/3/2006

National motor carrier associations in the U.S. and Canada want to see the rules of cabotage changed so foreign drivers have more flexibility once they unload.

The American Trucking Association and the Canadian Trucking Alliance are hoping the governments of both countries will allow drivers to pick up or reposition empty trailers.

“By liberalization we mean, if a Canadian driver delivers a loaded trailer in the U.S., he or she should be able to pick up an empty trailer and reposition it to another location,” said Margaret Irwin, director of customs of immigration and cross-border operations with the ATA. “The same would go for a U.S. driver in Canada.”

She said the rule change is a matter of “how to most efficiently operate equipment and drivers.”

Foreign drivers in either country are currently limited to delivering their designated loads, but can pick up other loads as long as they are for direct delivery back to the truck’s country of origin. The driver may not load, haul or deliver a cargo that has its origin and final destination within the United States.