West Coast is Key for Exporting Bigger Canada Crops

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Photo: Port Metro Vancouver

Canada needs to invest in shipping more grains and oilseeds off the West Coast as harvests get larger, to avoid the massive transportation backlogs that followed last year's record crops, industry officials said on Wednesday.

Last year, 19.3 million metric tons of grain moved in bulk and containers combined through Port Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, the country's biggest port, which connects Canadian commodities with Asian buyers, according to the port.

But handling Canadian commodity volumes that are trending higher will require greater spending on infrastructure to move the goods to the West Coast, some say.

"The demand and pinch point for us as a country really does exist on the West Coast," said Jeff Vassart, president of Cargill Ltd, the Canadian division of the global agribusiness giant. "That's where we see demand increasing into the future"

Vassart, speaking at the Canadian Global Crops Symposium in Winnipeg, also said he expects grain companies to continue spending to make country elevators more efficient.

Canada relies on railways to move wheat, canola and other crops vast distances from western provinces to ports on the Pacific Ocean, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Last year's record-large 76-million-metric-ton Western-Canada harvest, followed by a frigid winter, have overwhelmed Canadian National Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, backing up the flow of millions of tonnes of grain.

Cargill is spending C$50 million ($45 million) over several years to move grain faster and more efficiently through Vancouver. The two biggest Canadian grain handlers, Richardson International and Viterra, have announced plans to expand capacity at the port.

More can be done, said Jean-Jacques Ruest, chief marketing officer of Canadian National Railway.

"There are still places you can put brand new elevators" at Port Metro Vancouver, Ruest said at the symposium. With larger crops, exporters will also have to maximize use of smaller ports at Prince Rupert, British Columbia and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Ruest said.

Improving seed varieties and better farming practices are pushing yields higher, although last year's unprecedented harvest was also due to nearly ideal weather in Western Canada.

More grain terminal space and efficiency improvements are needed at Vancouver, although the public is voicing more concerns than before about such expansions, said Chris Wellstood, Port Metro Vancouver's director of marine operations and harbor master.

($1=$1.10 Canadian)

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Alden Bentley)

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Container Ships

MOL Expands Container Fleet

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. has signed a deal for construction of four 20,000 TEU containerships with Samsung Heavy Industries. MOL also concluded an MOU for long-term chartering of two 20,

Mitsubishi Bags Fourth LPG Carrier Order from Astomos

Tokyo-based Astomos Energy Corp has placed an order today with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for a very large liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier.     The 83,

Container Ship Runs Aground at Fremantle Port

A ship that ran aground at Fremantle Port early Saturday has been refloated. The 62,000-tonne Denmark-registered container ship Maersk Garonne became stuck in soft sand about 500m off South Mole.

News

Apprentices Graduate to Newport News Shipbuilding

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) hosted commencement exercises Saturday to graduate 157 apprentices from the company's Apprentice School located at Newport News Shipbuilding.

Elcome Enters Sales, Service Deal with JRC

Elcome International has signed a distribution agreement with Japan Radio Company (JRC) and its technology partner Alphatron Marine.   Under the agreement, the

Her Majesty The Queen to Name Britannia

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, will name the new P&O Cruises vessel Britannia in Southampton on March 10, 2015, P&O Cruises announced.

Intermodal

Brazil Truckers Continue Roadblocks After Crackdown

Striking truck drivers resumed some roadblocks in Brazil on Monday even as the government cracked down on protesters and promised to implement a law to lower toll

India to Appoint Coastal Shipping Consultant

As part of Narendra Modi government plan to promote coastal shipping, India is all set to appoint a consultancy firm to assist the Shipping Ministry.    The

Chassis Pools for Port of Long Beach

Three companies that own the vast majority of chassis serving the San Pedro Bay ports are on track to activate a “gray chassis fleet” of truck-trailers on March 1,

Logistics

Port Conference Comes to Hamburg

This year’s IAPH World Ports Conference will be held in Hamburg from June 1-5.   International representatives from business, politics and science will gather

Johan Sverdrup Contract to "Pioneering Spirit"

Statoil has signed a contract with Allseas for installation of three platform topsides on the Johan Sverdrup field.   The vessel will be installing the topsides for the drilling,

1st lifejacket for Working at heights

The first lifejacket custom-designed specifically for offshore personnel carrying out rope access or work at height has been developed by Survitec Group, the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2136 sec (5 req/sec)