Vancouver, March 8, 2018 – The Chamber of Shipping wishes to stress the urgent need for Canadian railways to meet the service expectations of shippers and customers as it relates to the prompt shipment of all commodities and containers to and from Western Canadian ports.
The importance of a predictable and well-functioning supply chain cannot be overemphasized as supply chain efficiency is critical to the competitiveness and environmental sustainability of Canadian ports. Trade growth, which is further enabled through agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) being signed today in Chile by Canada’s Minister of International Trade, requires that our internal systems and networks are reliable and prepared for further growth.
At present, the lack of fluidity and congestion in the supply chain has caused an undesirable number of vessels to wait at anchor until sufficient cargo is available for loading. This inefficiency has negative consequences on coastal communities in addition to extra costs that make Canadian gateways less competitive. Every year, commercial shipping results in $30 billion of economic activity in Canada and, at 1.8% of the Canadian economy, ships move more than $200 billion worth of goods to and from global markets.
The recent response expressed by Canadian railways to concerns raised by Ministers Garneau and MacAulay is positive and now it is critical that the rail sector promptly address these concerns in order to meet the needs of shippers and the broader Canadian public. From farmers to retailers, many Canadian jobs depend on a healthy and thriving trade environment.
The Chamber of Shipping also kindly urges Parliament to pass Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. The measures proposed in the Bill will support mitigating future backlog issues.
About Chamber of Shipping
The Chamber of Shipping represents commercial carriers and their agents in Canada which trade internationally and domestically. The marine transportation sector is vital to supporting Canadian trade and our continued prosperity and high standard of living depend on our ability to deliver resources, goods, and people in a responsible and competitive manner. Canada remains a strong trading nation, with one in five Canadian jobs and more than 60 per cent of our gross domestic product directly linked to exports.