Jeff McCaig, president and CEO of Canada-based bulk carrier Trimac Corp., is making an unusual request for more, not less, safety regulation, because he’s worried that rising cost pressures may lead many trucking companies to cut corners when it comes to safety.
“Demand for bulk shipments has contracted in the last few years. In the chemical industry, it’s contracted by as much as 15%,” McCaig said this week at the 83rd annual Transportation Research Board meeting in Washington, DC.
“Shippers in this industry are much more focused on costs and to say they are unwilling to grant rate increases is an understatement. As a result of stagnant rates, many carriers are looking at reducing safety, health, and other regulatory compliance as a way to control costs,” McCaig said. “There’s a real danger here that rising cost pressures could force the safety-focused operators out of business.”
“We don’t want the competitive dynamic to favor the less-safe operator,” he explained. “Higher safety and security standards, along with tougher enforcement, will help level the playing field and make sure highway safety isn’t compromised.”