CAM has come through its fourth Annual Conference with a sense that it was the most successful conference since CAM’s re-establishment in 1996. It succeeded in several dimensions. Most obvious was the attendance, in total, 94 movers, international movers and suppliers. All the major van lines were represented.
Doug Auld of Atlas Van Lines was the opening speaker. He laid out his view of the future of the moving business. He was followed by Jim van Leenen who brought us up to date on the status of the North American Van Lines–Allied Van Lines merger. Jim is the President of the new company, ALNAV Platinum Group Inc., which is now the parent company of both van lines. In an open question-and-answer period, Doug and Jim fielded questions related to van-line organization, information technology and the future of the moving business. Doug welcomed Anne Martin, the newly appointed President of United Van Lines to the Conference and invited her to join Doug and Jim on the podium next year.
Rick Butler of Univan Leasing gave a short presentation of the benefits related to buying or leasing of capital assets. Carol Levere of the Royal Bank gave her view of the future of the moving industry based on the Royal Bank’s recent change to a computer-based relocation system that incorporates electronic estimating and billing, inventory and claims processing.
Major Andrew Pierce of the Directorate of Transportation Management in National Defense Headquarters brought the group up to date on their efforts in devising alternatives to scaling to eliminate the ongoing weight debate and a value-index process that will reward contractors who perform above standard.
Phil O’Hara of Dalhousie University gave a presentation that made the group more familiar with Internet potential and laid out the status of CAM’s new moving consultant’s course. Currently, the course is almost complete with the first participants due to join in early January. It is totally Web based and interactive allowing students to learn and progress at their own pace.
The Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) representative, John Keating, outlined the manner in which CAM will interact with government to upgrade the occupational standards and job skills of the industry.
Our dinner speaker, Mike "Pinball" Clemons of the Toronto Argonauts, held the audience’s attention with his inspirational talk on self-motivation. It’s obvious why he performs at an elite level.
Ian Sewell of eLoyalty demonstrated what the latest in Web-based technology could do in a customer-service environment and the advantage that a company gains by its use. Sigmund Roseth gave some background on his company’s Website development efforts.
Our French Connection, Cedric Zibi of NEER Service France, talked about the environment for movers in the European Community, and the pitfalls and constraints for those movers who do business in Europe.
With more and more movers becoming logistics providers at various levels, Doug Saunders of KPMG presented some background on logistics, what it takes to get into the business and where the opportunities might lie for a mover. He was followed by Pete Pedersen who discussed the gathering and value of industry statistics in helping a mover to understand how he is performing on an absolute basis and in comparison to others.
Lisa Hulet of Prudential Relocation Canada gave her company’s perspective of the third-party relocation industry and the role and requirements Prudential sees for the independent mover over the next few years.
Our closing speaker, Helen Wilkie, provided some insights into the workings of conferences and gave all present a useable and useful method of deriving the full benefit from a conference instead of just filing the literature and returning to their desks.
Paul Van Remortel opened the Annual General Meeting with a message of the association’s service to members and objectives of cross-Canada representation in the membership and on the board, and in networking and education. David Long stated that the moving consultant’s course would be a rigorous one. As well, CAM would provide more informational sessions on topics such as workers’ compensation and labour code issues, information technology and ISO 9000. Members discussed the validation of new members, standards and enforcement, methods to handle consumer complaints, and the ongoing challenge of attracting good drivers and workers. Minutes will follow shortly to all members.
The new Board of Directors for 2000 is as follows:
Hours-of-service has become a long-term issue. In Canada, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) project group and Standing Committee on Compliance and Regulatory affairs are considering changes to the policy elements of the National Safety Code standard and based on their concurrence to the proposed changes, a recommendation will be forwarded to the CCMTA Board of Directors for approval at their December meeting.
The proposal under consideration includes examination of an alternate cycle (yet to be determined) that would replace the 120-hour/14-day cycle.
In the USA, Hours of Service is the cover story on American Moving and Storage Association’s November 1999 Direction magazine, of which the following is a summary. The U.S. Department of Transport has held numerous seminars, meetings and workshops with representatives from government, industry and consumer-advocacy groups (as well as with similar groups in Canada) to address the myriad transportation safety conditions and initiatives. The meetings in Canada reflect an objective of having harmonized rules both in the USA and Canada.
The FHWA working on proposed changes to the hours-of-service rules that in summary are:
While these are proposed U.S. rules, with the consultation that has taken place between Canadian and U.S. authorities, similar rules will probably be seen in Canada.
The next issue that CAM will be tackling concerns labour laws and regulations. Discussions are under way at both the federal policy level and the local operational level. Generally, the moving industry, if it crosses borders, falls under federal jurisdiction based on a 1954 court case known as the Winner Decision. However, separate corporate entities (i.e., warehouse operations) can be seen to be under provincial jurisdiction as long as there is no transfer of personnel between the two entities. Please let CAM know if there are any specific labour issues that need attention as part of our overall policy submission to the governments.