CIFFA seeks national intermodal marine transportation strategy

by Canadian Shipper

TORONTO, Ont.–The Canadian International Freight Forwarders’ Association (CIFFA) has written a letter to the federal Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, on the subject of Canada’s Critical Intermodal Capabilities at Port Metro Vancouver.

CIFFA noted in its newsletter bulletin today that its series of letters to the Minister, the latest of which was dated September 9, “have outlined concerns and identified opportunities on various subjects, including Canada’s rail cargo and Port Metro Vancouver – the supposed jewel in the crown of our Asia Pacific Gateway. Today we are writing to draw attention to the need for a Canadian national intermodal marine transportation strategy that will bring strength and sustainability to Canada’s global trade. On behalf of Canadians, the federal government invests billions of dollars in Gateway initiatives in a shared funding model. Port authorities are responsible for managing ports, leasing property to terminal operators, and for the overall port operations. Ports are also responsible for implementing big project infrastructure improvements such as the extension of the piers at the Port of Halifax and the Roberts Bank Corridor and South Shore Overpass at Vancouver.

Port authorities in Canada must also be held accountable for overall port operations including how the terminals provide service to customers using the port. Terminal operators with long leases and out of province/ foreign ownership must be held accountable for their performance now and for their investments in our future. Intrinsically linked to efficient port performance is the transfer of goods from rail or truck to vessel and vice versa through the port and its terminals.

Canada’s populations are not located at its major ocean ports. Goods must move efficiently from or to central Canada via intermodal marine cargo which relies on physical infrastructure and a fine-tuned regulatory environment to manage the flow of cargo. Goods must not be allowed to dwell on a dock to the detriment of Canadian importers and exporters who compete in a global international trade arena and who must be supported by a well-considered national policy,” CIFFA concluded.

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