February 14 - For the past year, Ontario Trucking Association has been working closely with Ontario Ministry of Transport Ministry (MTO) on several initiatives aimed at streamlining the permitting process for oversized and overweight loads in Ontario, Can

Last summer the MTO confirmed the first round of changes were being implemented. This included changes to the duration of single trip permits from four to seven days, as well as the extension of weekend travel to include loads over current annual dimensions (excluding superloads).  It also included return empty permits being issued at the same time as the loaded permit.

"There is no doubt these changes were welcomed by the industry and are making a difference for carriers," said Jonathan Blackham, OTA's policy and government affairs assistant. "In a recent meeting with MTO, we were also pleased to hear work will continue to streamline the permitting process in Ontario, which will benefit our carrier members and the overall supply chain."

Some of the 2017 projects being examined include the exploration of the options for electronic single trip permits; the expansion of online capabilities to include self-routing and self-issuance options for single trip permits and a review of the current annual, project and batch permit policies, to develop a better product (simplifying the permit to increase the speed of issuance for all permits).

It was also confirmed that a delivery model for non-police escorting options (including necessary legislative changes as well as training and programme development) is underway.

It is expected that much of the ground work in this area can be completed over 2017. OTA said it will be holding a meeting involving its heavy specialised division and MTO officials, so members can provide direct input.