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Canada’s supply chains need overhaul: National Supply Chain Task Force 2022 Report

     Frieght Gears

The 21 recommendations in the final report released by the National Supply Chain Task Force this month are intended to address the delays and economic pressure that have plagued the supply chain over the last two and a half years.  The federal task force says Canada’s transportation supply chain is approaching its “breaking point” and urgent action from both government and industry is needed to keep goods flowing.

Priority items include easing congestion at ports and addressing labour shortages, as well as working to protect border crossings and other key points from disruption.  The report prioritizes long-term recommendations, including the creation of a federal central supply chain office to oversee any changes and unify the federal government’s positions across the divisions.

Addressing labour shortages and the digitization of the transportation supply chain sector are key to providing better insight on Canada’s supply chain as a whole.  Labour shortages have affected all sectors of the economy, but have disrupted the transportation sector especially.  Trucking, in particular, has faced pressure from labour shortages.  It is responsible for 50 per cent of trade and is currently missing the equivalent of 25,000 drivers.

The federal government already has policies in process to address some supply chain issues, including a policy that will require large rail companies to be more transparent in their operations and provide more clarity on their performance to the agricultural sector.  Plans are also in place to introduce legislation this year to modernize the governmental structure of ports, a recommendation also proposed by the task force.

In order for such initiatives to be successful, government, transportation, logistics providers, shippers, producers, manufacturers and retailers must act decisively, urgently and in unison.  This is the only way to create a supply chain system that is more agile, flexible, resilient, competitive and efficient than it is today.

Modernized and future-proof regulatory frameworks, along with intensified cooperation between and within the public and private sectors will be needed if Canada is to remain relevant in the global marketplace.

For more information, contact David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services.

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