(Oct. 9) As the value of the weak U.S. dollar fell below that of the Canadian loonie, it was affecting more than just growers, imports and exporters on both sides of the border. It also was being felt by trucking and logistics companies making international deliveries.

“A devalued U.S. dollar means that we are making less at the end of the year,” said Manny Dinis, vice president of Gallop Logistics, a Toronto-based truck broker. “Instead of making 10% to 15% on the exchange, we are now getting one for one.”

Or slightly less than that. Dinis made those comments Sept. 28, the same day the Canadian dollar moved to $1.0037, according to the Bank of Canada, reversing three decades of dominance by the greenback. The greenback rallied slightly Oct. 2 and dropped the loonie to $0.9996, but the loonie rebounded to $1.0192 on Oct. 5.

A weakened U.S. dollar means lower produce costs for Canadian importers, but Dinis said freight rates likely will increase because Gallop’s rates typically are billed and paid in U.S. dollars.

Greg Smith, a dispatcher with St. Laurent, Quebec-based TrafficTech Inc., said that practice might have to change along with the exchange rate.

“We try to do what we can for our carriers,” he said. “If enough of them start wanting to be paid in Canadian dollars, I’m sure that in the near future we’ll start asking to be paid in Canadian currency.”

Sav Tsoukalas, general manager for the Canadian produce division of C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., said he didn’t see the need for drastic changes. He said the Mississauga, Ontario, branch he works from pays carriers in Canadian currency for outbound loads and U.S. dollars for inbound loads.

“It’s been a wash,” he said.

Tsoukalas cautioned that carriers shouldn’t rush to switch payments to Canadian currency because the rate is likely to fluctuate.

“People aren’t willing to jump back and forth,” he said.

Tsoukalas, however, said U.S. imports might face higher freight rates to Canada due to lower demand for Canadian exports.

“We’re going to send less freight outbound, and that’s going to make it more difficult for Canadian retailers and wholesalers,” he said. “It creates competition for equipment because if there’s less outbound freight there’s going to be a limited number of trucks coming back.”

Tsoukalas said he is encouraging customers to use rail for hardier products, such as potatoes and onions, in order to free up trucks for more perishable items.