Canada invests in digitization of supply chains

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

The Canadian government is investing up to $51.2 million for 19 digital infrastructure projects under the National Trade Corridors Fund. By supporting the use of innovative technologies for stronger supply chains, the Government of Canada hopes to ensure that goods move faster and cheaper for Canadians.

The commitment is to help better address transportation bottlenecks, vulnerabilities and congestion along Canada’s ports. By investing in Canada’s supply chains, the Government of Canada looks to provide sustained growth, creating opportunities for businesses to thrive domestically and compete on the global stage.

The funding recipients and project details include:

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority – Vancouver Gateway Optimization and Forecasting

This project will increase capacity, operational efficiencies, and reliability within supply chains. It will enable seamless information sharing among stakeholders and enhance transportation planning for future infrastructure improvements. The initiative will also support economic growth in the short and long term, ensuring the competitiveness of Canada’s supply chains while mitigating the impacts of trade activities on local communities and the environment.

Total project cost: $24,851,875

Eligible project costs: $18,535,000

Federal Contribution: $9,267,500

Recipient Contribution: $15,584,375

The project is scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2027.

Vancouver Airport Authority – Cargo Situational Awareness Tool

This project will enhance the efficiency and reliability of cargo flow at the airport. It will introduce new digital tools like truck slot booking and e-freight documents, aiming to reduce truck dwell time by over 250,000 hours annually. Additionally, aircraft dwell time could decrease by up to 50%, while cargo volume throughput may increase by over 83,000 tons. Customs documentation processing time could be reduced by up to 15,000 hours of labour per year. The initiative anticipates a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, estimated at approximately 2 million tons of carbon dioxide over a two-year period.

Total project cost: $17,327,000

Eligible project costs: $14,411,000

Federal Contribution: $7,205,500

Recipient Contribution: $ 10,121,500

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

OEC Group – Next Generation Transportation Management System

The initiative aims to address the limitations of current Transportation Management Systems by integrating new technologies. The OEC Group plans to white label the Next Generation Transportation Management System (NGTMS) for its customers which would let them use it for all their shipments. This will accelerate the development of the digital supply chains for Canadian shippers and make end-to-end shipment visibility available to policy makers. By automating routine tasks and analyzing real-time data, the NGTMS can enhance logistics efficiency, allowing workers to focus on higher-level tasks. This shift has the potential to improve asset and operations management, coordination, planning, and supply chain optimization, which will ease bottlenecks and enhance network fluidity and resilience.

Total project cost: $14,189,000

Eligible project costs: $13,539,000

Federal Contribution: $6,769,500

Recipient Contribution: $7,419,500

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

Canadian National Railway Company – Application Programming Interface Program

The initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions by minimizing computing power requirements compared to traditional IT systems. Customized data fields will be accessible via Application Programming Interfaces endpoints, streamlining service delivery by lowering per-transaction costs, reducing maintenance or support interventions, and expediting partner onboarding onto the API platform.

Total project cost: $12,538,090

Eligible project costs: $12,538,090

Federal Contribution: $6,269,000

Recipient Contribution: $6,269,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2025.

PSA Halifax – Container Terminals Digitalization Project

The project aims to develop technology and software to improve the fluidity and efficiency of container operations at the Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia. The project will enhance the sharing of relevant data and improve the efficiency of port operations through the implementation of modern systems and tools. The project is expected to improve fluidity of the gateway by reducing congestion, increasing reliability of terminal operations, enhancing operational and information security, and improving cyber resilience by replacing outdated systems.

Total project cost: $7,488,052

Eligible project costs: $7,453,052

Federal Contribution: $3,726,526

Recipient Contribution: $3,761,526

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

Port of Montreal – Port Community System Platform

The project will improve the port’s logistics system by creating real-time connectivity among all stakeholders, facilitating efficient collaboration. Operational data will be securely shared to enhance transparency and decision-making processes. This initiative is expected to boost the productivity of the entire supply chain while simultaneously improving the competitiveness of all parties involved.

Total project cost: $6,600,000

Eligible project costs: $6,600,000

Federal Contribution: $3,300,000

Recipient Contribution: $3,300,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2027.

WTC Group Inc. – Digital Transloading Systems

The project will enhance supply chain visibility, lower logistics costs, boost the productivity of transportation equipment and assets (such as trucks, railcars, containers, and yard machines), and contribute to environmental sustainability by eliminating unnecessary truck trips.

Total project cost: $8,638,000

Eligible project costs: $4,838,000

Federal Contribution: $2,419,000

Recipient Contribution: $6,219,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

British Columbia Maritime Employers Association – WaterfrontWorks Project

The project will enhance the reliability of waterfront labour supply by simulating supply and demand scenarios, identifying potential issues in the short, medium, and long-term, and aligning investments in training and recruitment accordingly to prevent shortages. This will enhance the marketability of Canada’s West Coast ports by improving labour supply reliability. This will also bolster responsiveness to cargo or carrier diversions from competing port areas, while increasing data exchange and coordination among supply chain stakeholders to collectively mitigate supply chain disruptions. The initiative aims to reduce vessel times in port by accurately forecasting labour and skill requirements. By optimizing real-time workforce planning, the project will stimulate growth in cargo volumes.

Total project cost: $4,405,500

Eligible project costs: $4,405,500

Federal Contribution: $2,202,750

Recipient Contribution: $2,202,750

The project is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2026.

Western Canadian Shippers’ Coalition – Western Canadian Rail Visibility and Metrics

This project will provide the Western Canadian Shippers’ Coalition and its members with a digital tool that enhances visibility of the Western Canadian rail network, benefiting stakeholders. By integrating data from coalition members and other sources, the platform will offer real-time reporting, forecasting, capacity analysis, and performance dashboards, empowering stakeholders with comprehensive insights.

Total project cost: $4,405,500

Eligible project costs: $4,405,500

Federal Contribution: $2,202,750

Recipient Contribution: $2,202,750

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

Calgary Airport Authority – Airport Operational Awareness Platform

The project promises a range of benefits for stakeholders. These include enhanced efficiency in shipping and cargo operations, as well as improved visibility and predictability regarding turnaround times and safety-related incidents. Additionally, the initiative aims to alleviate bottlenecks at Calgary, one of Canada’s busiest airports. Moreover, it is expected to bolster resilience throughout the supply chain, fortifying its ability to withstand disruptions and challenges.

Total project cost: $4,304,500

Eligible project costs: $3,904,500

Federal Contribution: $1,952,250

Recipient and Other Partner Contribution: $2,352,250

The project is scheduled to be completed by February 28, 2026.

Halifax Port Authority – Data Integration Hub

This project will improve the quality of data and make it easier for partners to share information. This will lead to quicker turnaround times for vessels, making maritime operations more efficient. It will also help make rail and road transport more efficient. Additionally, it will create new ways to measure performance, helping make better decisions.

Total project cost: $2,481,000

Eligible project costs: $2,000,000

Federal Contribution: $1,000,000

Recipient Contribution: $1,481,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by April 30, 2026.

BlueNode Inc. – Supply Chain Operations Transparency

This project will improve collaboration within the supply chain, reducing friction at intermodal interfaces and ensuring the accuracy of shipments at each node. Additionally, accurate modeling of capacity utilization provides a dependable overview of cargo flows, mitigating risks associated with disruptions. This project will support supply chain users to better understand goods movement, shippers and consignees’ decisions, promoting resilience and facilitating business development within the supply chain.

Total project cost: $2,000,000

Eligible project costs: $2,000,000

Federal Contribution: $1,000,000

Recipient Contribution: $1,000,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2026.

Port of Québec – Maritime Port, Road and Rail

The initiative focuses on enhancing the collection and transparency of operational data within the port. This involves improving data quantity and reliability, integrating external data sources such as navigation information, with the objective of analyzing the data to identify bottlenecks, track progress in decarbonization, and optimize supply chain efficiency across the port’s terminals. Advanced indicators will be developed to assess asset utilization, occupancy rates, greenhouse gas emissions, and other pollutants. Transparency will be ensured by making data accessible to the entire supply chain and the public where feasible, while maintaining cybersecurity measures.

Total project cost: $2,398,750

Eligible project costs: $2,083,750

Federal Contribution: $1,041,875

Recipient Contribution: $1,356,875

The project is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2026.

Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited – the Digital Solutions for Supply Chain Planning in Southwestern British Columbia

The project will deliver supply chain visibility software that will provide the railway with pipeline visibility, forecasting and shipment management capabilities and the ability to share this information with supply chain partners and stakeholders. The project also involves the purchase and installation of hardware that will provide real-time information on railcar locations at key locations. In addition, a virtual representation of the Southern Railway of British Columbia network will be created using Light Detection and Ranging technology that will identify track capability to support rail solutions for supply chain partners.

Total project cost: $2,166,000

Eligible project costs: $2,041,000

Federal Contribution: $1,020,500

Recipient Contribution: $1,145,500

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

Prince Rupert Port Authority – Prince Rupert Gateway Data Visualization Initiative

The project will improve efficiency, reduce operating costs and optimize resource allocation. Additionally, the project aims to contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions by implementing more efficient operational practices, thereby decreasing emissions associated with port activities. By enhancing asset utilization and improving land use, the project endeavors to mitigate the environmental impacts of port development and promote sustainable practices.

Total project cost: $1,854,000

Eligible project costs: $1,800,000

Federal Contribution: $900,000

Recipient Contribution: $954,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 19, 2025.

Canadian National Railway Company – Inter Railway Data Exchange for Train Schedules, Consist and Crew Information

The project will enhance the efficiency and reliability of the Canadian National Railway’s (CN) network. This involves improving network fluidity, reducing costs associated with delays, eliminating manual processes, and establishing Interface Control Documents (ICD) for automatic data exchanges. Additionally, the project aims to streamline coordination between CN and other railways, facilitate planning, and increase the automatic exchange of train schedules, consist, and crew information.

Total project cost: $1,534,000

Eligible project costs: $1,534,000

Federal Contribution: $767,000

Recipient Contribution: $767,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2025.

First-Last Mile Visibility Recipients (Carlton Trail Railway Company; Great Sandhills Railway, Ltd; Great Western Railway, Ltd.; Long Creek Railroad, Inc.; Oyen Regional Railway Company, Inc.; Purely Canada Foods; and Stewart Southern Rail, Inc.) – First-Last Mile Visibility

The project aims to reduce bottlenecks and improve fluidity at interchanges, enhance asset and operations management, streamline coordination and planning among stakeholders, and improve optimization of the transportation network through greater data visibility and functionality. Through the addition of automatic equipment identification readers and yard management software, this project will increase data sharing and provide new timely visibility of cargo and equipment flows. Adding or upgrading yard management software will also increase the short line’s ability to receive and utilize operational data from supply chain partners to enhance operational efficiency, coordination, and planning.

Total project cost: $1,166,222

Eligible project costs: $1,166,222

Federal Contribution: $583,111

Recipient Contribution: $583,111

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

Canadian Avalanche Association – Mobile Tools for Avalanche Impact Reduction

The project will significantly reduce closure times for rail and highway corridors while enhancing the safety of mountainous rail and highway lines during winter. This will be achieved through various means, including the enhancement of software to empower avalanche field teams and risk managers to make avalanche control decisions based on real-time data. Additionally, the project will ensure the prompt dissemination of hazard information as soon as it is detected, facilitating swift responses to potential threats. Moreover, closures will be enacted promptly when necessary to ensure the safety of all parties involved.

Total project cost: $830,000

Eligible project costs: $830,000

Federal Contribution: $395,000

Recipient Contribution: $435,000

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2026.

Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority – Intelligent Vehicle Management System

The project will allow for better traffic flow planning, secure knowledge of all trucks and shipments entering and exiting the area and lead to better use of the already congested facilities.

Total project cost: $512,354

Eligible project cost: $512,354

Federal Contribution: $256,177

Recipient Contribution: $256,177

The project is scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2025.