MONTREAL -- A trucking company says it will offer a bonus of $10,000 to all drivers who have gotten their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by mid-January.

Fuel Transport, a freight company with offices in Montreal and Toronto, says it hopes the incentive will increase employee vaccination rates and avoid potential delays at the border.

A deadlne is looming. The federal government announced last month that it would close some gaps in its vaccination requirements for international travelers, including essential service providers such as truckers.

Under the new rules, as of January 15, all truckers seeking to enter Canada will need to be fully vaccinated.

Non-residents who are not fully vaccinated will be turned back at the border, while unvaccinated residents will be required to show proof of a recent negative test and to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The trucking industry, which suffered from a severe labour shortage even before the pandemic, is now feeling it more than ever as demand increases in the wake of growth in e-commerce.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Dec. 6, 2021.