Research “ping” points bridge-crossing delays

By Keith Norbury

Most of the goods traded between Canada and the U.S., still one of the world’s leading trading partnerships, crosses the border in trucks. And most of those trucks pass over three bridges straddling two rivers connecting the Great Lakes of Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Until recently, however, little was known about long it takes trucks to cross the border. That all changed recently when researchers at the University of Windsor’s Traffic Lab obtained GPS data from nearly 400,000 border crossings by about 60,000 trucks owned by 750 companies. The researchers crunched the data, millions of GPS “pings” in total, to reveal details about how long they waited at the border at different times of the day and year as well as their directions of travel. (more…)

Canada stuck in middle of elephantine clash of civilizations

Canada stuck in middle of elephantine clash of civilizations

By Keith Norbury

When two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers. Jia Wang, Deputy Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, invokes that African proverb to describes Canada’s position in a tariff turf war between the world’s economic elephants — China and the U.S. “In a way, Canada is like that grass,” said Ms. Wang, who was born and raised in China but has been a Canadian resident for 16 years. “It’s caught in between these big global economic superpowers and if for some reason the trade situation worsens, I think on balance it’s not going to be good for Canada.” (more…)

Canada-China relations the worst since Tiananmen

Canada-China relations the worst since Tiananmen

By Keith Norbury

The trade relationship between Canada and China is the worst it’s been in decades, according to experts who have studied the machinations of trade between the two nations. “No doubt, Canada-China relations are at a very low point,” said Jia Wang, Deputy Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “Probably one of the lowest points since the Tiananmen incident in 1989.”

The impetus for the deteriorating relationship was the arrest in Vancouver of a senior executive with state-owned Chinese electronics giant Huawei. Meng Wanzhou, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, has been in custody since her arrest on December 1 at the behest of the United States Department of Justice. The U.S. is seeking to extradite her on charges that a Huawei subsidiary allegedly committed bank and wire fraud charges that violated sanctions against Iran. On March 1, the Canadian government announced it would hold an extradition hearing. (more…)

B.C. Ferries to spend $1.1 billion to “future-proof” terminals

B.C. Ferries to spend $1.1 billion to “future-proof” terminals

By Keith Norbury

B.C. Ferry Services Inc., which operates 47 ferry terminals on coastal B.C., plans to spend $1.1 billion upgrades to those facilities over the next 12 years. That’s 27 per cent of a $3.9 billion capital plan that B.C. Ferry Commission signed off on in late 2018. It’s also significantly more than the 21.4 per cent of the capital total of $2.915 billion allocated in the preceding 12-year capital plan from fiscal 2004 to 2018.

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New Nanaimo Vehicle Processing Centre ready for first shipment

By Keith Norbury

A new facility for handling imports of European vehicles is the latest addition to services at the Port of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The B.C. Vehicle Processing Centre will receive its first shipment of 400 automobiles in early March, said Ian Marr, President and CEO of Nanaimo Port Authority. That is when the Tranquil Ace, an MOL pure car and truck carrier, or PCTC, will dock at the port’s Assembly Wharf near the city’s downtown. The ship is scheduled to arrive at Nanaimo on March 7. Renovations to the 60,000 square foot building that will house the vehicle processing centre were 90 per cent completed by January. “But there’s always the odd little thing you can do around it to make it just a little nicer,” Mr. Marr said.

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Port Alberni has recurring transshipment aspirations

By Keith Norbury

The dream of a $2 billion transshipment hub near Port Alberni on the west coast of Vancouver Island remain alive despite being unsuccessful in a recent call for expressions of interest from the federal government’s National Trade Corridor Fund.

Zoran Knezevic, CEO of Port Alberni Port Authority, said in January that the port plans to try again during the government’s next call for proposals which began Jan. 15. “This time we will probably be looking for detailed funding for a detailed feasibility study,” Mr. Knezevic said. (more…)