The Asia-Pacific Gateway, an initiative that is capitalising on the ports of Canada’s closer proximity to Asia, was discussed at a regional forum at last week’s Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong.
Since the initiative was introduced in 2005, Canada has completed 47 infrastructure projects including railways and ports to accommodate expanding trade links.
Shaun Stevenson, vice president, Trade Development and Public Affairs, Prince Rupert Port Authority said that cargo growth had expanded at Port Rupert since the introduction of the initiative as more shippers were taking advantage of the shorter transit time from Asia – up to two days saved by transiting from Shanghai to Chicago, Memphis, Toronto and Montreal Montreal through the port.
The commercial director at DP World Canada, Tabare Dominguez said the company’s terminal at Prince Rupert Port could now accommodate the largest containerships with 20,000teu capacity. The port has a present capacity of 900,000teu but will expand to 1.5m teu by 2019.
The Vancouver International Maritime Centre, first established in the early 1990s, has also had a new lease of life and is again actively attracting shipping companies and marine services providers to set up business in Vancouver.
The panellists were generally dismissive of any negative impacts as a result of the “Trump effect” and his intent to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The consensus was that the region still shows room for growth regardless of the TPP and that any shortfall could be made up through Canada’s expected new trade deals with the European Union.
The 7th ALMC will be held 23-24 November 2017.