In 1916, WWI was in full swing and Canada was heavily involved in the war effort in many ways. Canadian industry was geared up to produce munitions and other war supplies and a particular challenge was to move these vitally needed goods to the front in Europe. The railways were being stretched to move goods to east coast ports and danger to ocean shipping was also an issue. Car supply, freight claims, and railway tariffs were of particular concern to shippers.
With this background, a meeting was convened on October 25, 1916 at the Traders Bank Building in Toronto “for the purpose of organizing the “Canadian Traffic League”. There were eighteen men present at this founding meeting representing a number of companies in the Toronto area.
When these men started the Canadian Traffic League, they were, of course, interested in the problems of the day, but they started something that was of value to Canadian industry then and is of even more value to Canadian industry today. In 1916, rail and shipping were the only significant modes. Today trucking, airfreight, inter-modal, and courier services are available to supply chain professionals, and all of these options require knowledge to use effectively and vigilance to ensure that the lawmakers, regulators, and the carriers understand the needs of the shipper community. The current environment for FMA members is at least as challenging as it was for League members in 1916, but as the first constitution stated, FMA will continue to work to “bring about better transportation conditions generally”.
The primary role of the FMA is government relations on behalf of the buyers of freight transportation. FMA has contact with all levels of government in Canada, various agencies of the U.S. government, and with United Nations agencies and other international bodies.
- Air cargo security
- Carbon reduction initiatives
- S. ballast water exchange regulations
- Container weighing and stuffing
- Low sulphur fuel requirements
- Shipping Conferences Exemption Act
- The Fair Rail Freight Service Act
- The Fail Rail Fright for Grain Farmers Act
- New safety regulations for tank cars
- The 2015 review of the Canada Transportation Act
- Hours-of-Service regulations
- The driver shortage
- Harmonization of truck size and weight regulations across provinces
The Freight Management Association of Canada (FMA) (Formerly Canadian Industrial Transportation Association), The National Voice of the Shipper, is the only national industry association that promotes legislation through advocacy focusing specifically on freight transportation issues. FMA represents the interests of the Canadian shipper community to help achieve positive change that will directly affect a company’s bottom line. The primary role is advocacy on behalf of the buyers of freight transportation with all levels of government, carrier groups and with foreign governments and agencies
FMA maintains a relationship with government, carriers and other stakeholders and facilitates communication and information exchange with members across Canada and has been doing so continuously since 1916.
FMA represents its members on a wide-range of public policy and regulatory issues to promote the viability and competitiveness of industry through a cost-effective, safe and efficient transportation system. Whatever the issue, government legislation and regulations can affect your bottom line. Now more than ever, it is crucial that the needs of Canadian shippers are given proper consideration by all levels of government.
As a broad-based industry association, the 100+ Canadian member companies are in the agriculture, food processing, mining, forest products, chemical, fertilizer, manufacturing and retail industries, both large and small, from all regions of the country. FMA member companies contribute more than $100 billion annually to the Canadian economy and purchase more than $4 billion in freight services by truck, rail, marine and airfreight.
FMA is a strong voice with government on policy, legislation and regulation and is a leader in providing current information about freight transportation to media and other stakeholders. The Association also provides networking opportunities and information dissemination to help Canadian businesses remain competitive in the industry.
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