Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo lands European auto manufacturer vehicle processing centre for Western Canada

By R. Bruce Striegler

At first glance, the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo may seem to be an unusual location for a yet un-named European auto manufacturer to establish a vehicle processing centre (VPC) for Western Canada. However, Ewan Moir, President and CEO of Nanaimo Port Authority, assures us that is exactly what is taking place. “Historically, the way European autos reach Western Canada is after unloading from ships at Eastern Canadian ports, they are shipped across the country by rail, then moved into holding yards and moved again by truck to the dealerships. Logistical challenges, delays, and costs coming across Canada opened people’s eyes to the need for change.” Moir mentions land prices in the Vancouver area as a further issue. “Dealerships were turning to the manufacturer and expressing concern about holding large inventories which were becoming an expensive proposition.” (more…)

Canadian forwarders call for end to ‘appalling’ costs and ‘broken’ inspection model

By Ian Putzger in Toronto

The port of Vancouver is building a new facility for container inspections near its Deltaport terminal complex. Importers and forwarders hope the inspection station, which is scheduled to come on stream next year, will cut down on inspection times. But they remain resigned to ongoing problems and painful costs at all Canadian ports. “We hope the new facility will create efficiencies and speed up inspections,” commented Ruth Snowden, Executive Director of Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA). (more…)

Forwarders far more ‘digitally aware’ than industry disruptors believe, says BIFA DG

By Alexander Whiteman

Digital disruptors will no more kill-off today’s forwarding sector than the advent of European rail did in the 1800s, according to Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), Robert Keen, who described reports suggesting the rise of software start-ups spelled the end for forwarders as “PR puff”. He told The Loadstar: “There’s this idea that if forwarders do not adapt, they will die – but you just need to look back at the sector’s history, it has always adapted. “One forwarder I know – a family-owned European firm – has a letter from a grandparent proclaiming the company’s demise with the arrival of rail in the 1800s… it’s still going.” (more…)