Suspension of heavy vehicle load restrictions to avoid stock-outs
The Quebec government has suspended load restrictions for heavy goods vehicles during the thaw period to ensure the delivery of essential products and avoid stock-outs in pharmacies and supermarkets.
The decision concerning “the suspension of the axle load and total laden mass limits applicable during the thaw period for certain road vehicles or combinations of road vehicles” was published in the Gazette officielle du Québec on March 25.
The decision of the Minister of Transport affects road vehicles and combinations of road vehicles transporting only “foodstuffs, medical and sanitary equipment, pharmaceutical products and products necessary for the production of foodstuffs”, underlines the document consulted.
The government says it is aware of fears among the population “which are causing targeted purchasing behavior causing temporary shortages of stocks of certain foodstuffs, sanitary and medical equipment and pharmaceutical products”.
The less there is, the more there appears to be a shortage. The situation creates a strengthening of targeted purchases which could lead to a real shortage of certain products, it said.
To add to the problem, transport companies must contend with a lack of workers. For example, the decree states that “it becomes difficult for dairy transport companies to transport all of the milk produced due to the additional load limits combined with the reduction of approximately 15 to 20 % of available workers, which leads to a significant loss of efficiency in transport putting the supply chain at risk ”.
Depending on the area, the thaw periods vary between March 9 and June 5.