New eManifest Initiatives Cause Motor Carrier Losses
According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the newly adopted ACI eManifest program is creating unacceptable delays and compliance issues for motor carriers, across Canada. Stephen Laskowski, Senior VP at the CTA acknowledges that Canadian carriers are reporting significant delays, sometimes amounting to multiple days, due to uncertainty over eManifest policies. The daily reports prompted comments from Laskowski, describing the problems encountered as "above and beyond what could reasonably be attributed to learning curve issues."
According to Laskowski, most of the confusion is occurring at the port level. After analyzing feedback data, the CTA has determined that lack of consistency exists in both knowledge and application of ACI eManifest policy enforcement. Some carriers even report that service officers at the border are advising truckers that May 2013 is the date for ACI implementation. Although the 2013 deadline is the "drop dead" date for compliance, and drivers will be turned back with penalty at this time, November 1, 2012 is the so-called "informed compliance deadline."
The Trucking Alliance has labored to become actively involved with the carrier initiatives by providing input for implementation of educational opportunities and improved communication plans. Laskowsi's written correspondence, with the CBSA, regarding carrier feedback by early CBSA adopters, has yielded no appreciable improvement in CBSA eManifest issues.
Persistent ACI problems are costing carriers real time and money. CTA Director of Policy And Government Regulations, Deanna Pagnan points to the significant frustration of carriers who have invested dollars into technology and training in anticipation of the highway carrier initiative. The negative experience of these motor carriers is leading to disenchantment with the entire ACI program. Ms. Pagnan further suggests that there is likely potential for the CBSA to experience loss of support from carriers, who are beginning to question the wisdom of their investment.
Due to continuing issues, many believe that motor carrier entities who have already attempted to reach ACI compliance standards, may lapse back into processing paper manifests until the May 2013 deadline, in order to save money, time and operational distress.