Towards a Short Sea Shipping Strategy for the North American Continent

Please join me in Vancouver, British Columbia this April for an important discussion of short sea shipping services in the North Americas.

International trade is projected to reach two billion tons within the next 15 years ?twice today's level. This increase will place significant stress on an already overloaded landside transportation system and nowhere is this stress more evident than at our major port gateways and coastal transportation corridors.

The expansion of waterborne transportation services between the United States, Canada, and Mexico is vital to the economic security of our countries.

Therefore, as Acting Maritime Administrator, and in partnership with our fellow agencies in Canada and Mexico, I would like to cordially invite you to participate in the first ever North American Conference on Short Sea Shipping. Canada, as the host sponsor, is preparing an aggressive agenda that will break new ground in Short Sea Shipping policy, development, and implementation.

This event is the result of coordination among Canada, the United States, and Mexico following the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation on Short Sea Shipping in 2003. This year's Conference represents a further commitment between the three nations under the Security and Prosperity Partnership Accord signed by the leaders of the three nations in 2005?a trilateral agreement designed to increase the security, prosperity, and quality of life in North America.

Our hosts have set up a spectacular venue in Vancouver, British Columbia for this occasion, and I assure you that the Conference will be informative, memorable, and provide us all the opportunity to share vital information in our efforts to build our respective transportation systems and grow our economies.

The Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia is assisting in the organization of this event. To register, please visit http://www.chamber-of-shipping.com/index/shortsea . You may also contact Bonne Gee or Patricia Kersul at the Chamber at (604) 681-2351 or via email at http://events@chamber-of-shipping.com.

Let's work to make short sea shipping a vibrant North American transportation mode. I look forward to seeing you in Vancouver.
Sincerely, John Jamian
Acting Maritime Administrator