As promised, more on my driving experiences in the frozen North Country – Canada. As a truck driver, I only made three trips across the border, but they all had their individual challenges. The only constant was that I was lost for a portion of each trip.
Taking product into Canada is a little more intricate than going in with an empty trailer. First, a driver needs to take his rig to an “impound lot” – a large fenced in parking area. Then he gathers up all his customs paperwork, if he has it, and heads to a broker’s office.
Brokers set up all deliveries into Canada, in cooperation with the Canadian Customs Office. The broker checks all the driver’s paperwork and stamps it.
Then it’s off to Customs. They recheck all the paperwork, stamp it again, keep a copy and set you free to roam their magnificent country.
On my second trip into Ontario, I had no customs paperwork – none had been included with my shipment and there were no blank forms in my paperwork box.
I parked in the impound lot and headed for the broker’s office – I at least had his name and address. Luckily, they had blank forms and one of the secretaries filled them in, using my bill of lading as a guide. After that was done, customs was a breeze and I headed back to my truck.
There was, however, one more problem. Standing in front of my truck, patiently waiting for me, was a uniformed Customs Officer.
“Mind if I take a quick look inside your truck?” he asked. What was I going to say? Maybe, “Sorry officer, but I don’t have the time. If I don’t get these drugs to Toronto in the next two hours, the whole deal goes south.”
The “quick” look took 45 minutes and involved three Customs people. They even checked the hard drive on my laptop to make sure I wasn’t smuggling and virtual porn into their country.
So, trip # 2 across the border also turned into a cluster fuck. Stay tuned for the 3rd installment.