By Keith Norbury
If the two Canadian provinces and eight U.S. states that make up the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway region formed their own country, it would boast the world’s third largest economy. That was one of the notable observations in a recent report commissioned by Chamber of Marine Commerce, an Ottawa-based bi-national association representing shipowners and operators, ports, shippers, and other marine-related companies.
The region’s annual GDP of over US$6 trillion — exceeded only by the U.S. and China — includes domestic cargo moved on either side of the border, and cargo bound for or arriving from overseas. But a fair chunk of that is trade across the border — trade that many transportation industry insiders and experts fear will suffer from the tariff war that has erupted between Canada and the U.S. (more…)
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…)
Hamilton Port Authority released its first ever Sustainability Report this year, as part of a new strategic direction.
“We believe that we operate with a social license that requires us to consider many perspectives,” explained Larissa Fenn, HPA’s Director of Public Affairs. “We began this journey by listening first: connecting with our stakeholders in a variety of ways, and understanding what is important to them. Once we had that knowledge, a comprehensive sustainability program was an obvious way to tie it all together.” (more…)
R. Bruce Striegler
“We have a community that is very much in support of our project,” says Zoran Knezevic, President and CEO of Port Alberni Port Authority. Mr. Knezevic goes on to point out that the Vancouver Island town of 18,000 is a blue-collar community. “It is an industry-based area that was brought to life and built by the forestry industry, so the tradition of industry and work of such kind is ever-present.” He notes this is sharp contrast to Vancouver, where he points out, tourism is king. Port Alberni is a deep port city on B.C.’s Vancouver Island, which lies within the Alberni Valley at the head of Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island’s longest fjord, stretching from the Pacific Ocean at Barkley Sound about 40 kilometres (25 miles) to Port Alberni.
In 2016, the Port of Vancouver introduced its aspirational and bold new vision: to be the world’s most sustainable port. The new vision is the result of a collaborative effort dating back to 2010, when the port initiated the Port 2050 planning process, involving 100 individuals and organizations that have a stake in the future of the port. Port 2050 participants identified four possible scenarios for the future of the Vancouver-area gateway, including one scenario participants believed worth aspiring to: The Great Transition.
The Port of Vancouver’s significant value to the national economy necessitates a steady flow of investment to ensure the fluidity and reliability of the Vancouver-area gateway. The port handles more than one of every four dollars in Canadian trade beyond North America, and port activity generates almost four million dollars in taxes per day across the country for all levels of government.
The collaborative model guiding the port authority’s approach to securing funding for key infrastructure improvements has proven to support trade activities through the port. Between 2009 and 2025, more than $17 billion will be invested in transportation infrastructure in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, more than double that of the recent Panama Canal upgrades. Working closely with industry and government, approximately $7.5 billion has already been invested to-date in port infrastructure to support port activities, a strong signal indicating confidence in the continued growth in Canadian trade.