There has been an influx of investment from industry players, both private and public, to improve efficiency and remove bottlenecks in a port-and-rail system under pressure to run smoothly, while at the same time trying to deal with increasing east-west trade under Canada’s new trade deals with Europe and Asia.
The ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert give credit to the billions of dollars in private and public investment spent on a series of expansion projects that are forecast to supply enough capacity until about 2030. The underlying challenge is keeping up with increasing cargo volume levels, which continue to grow at a rate that is putting pressure on supply chains. The concern that government and industry have is that they may not be doing enough, and fast enough, to stay ahead of ever evolving growth in cargo volumes and ensure the network functions optimally.
Industry players are debating what to build where – and with whose money – to avoid a long-term capacity crunch that could hurt Canada’s ability to compete with West Coast terminals in the United States.
To meet that demand and to set Canada up for future success, the private sector and ports need to collaborate to keep goods moving. Port cities that make the wrong decisions can see terminals close as other locations pick off their business.
For more information, contact David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services.