Canada Makes $30 Million Investment in Logistics Efficiency

Sarnia Harbour
Sarnia Harbour

Published Aug 8, 2019 6:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

Canada's Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, has announced a $20 million investment to increase rail capacity near Abbotsford resulting in a significant increase in overseas trade to and from terminals in the Port of Vancouver.

Garneau also announced a $6 million investment in a project in the Sarnia-Lambton corridor and Port of Sarnia, Ontario, to increase the efficiency of moving Canadian goods to international markets. This announcement follows the announcement of a $4.8 million investment for the Port of Johnstown, also in Ontario.

The Abbotsford project will twin approximately 5.6 kilometers of Canadian National Railway tracks eliminating the last section of single track within the 40-kilometer Canadian National rail corridor leading to the Port of Vancouver. The project will address bottlenecks along the rail corridor, and increase capacity and fluidity to accommodate growth in train traffic to and from the expanding import and export terminals at Burrard Inlet and Roberts Bank. The work consists of engineering design; grading; the construction of track, bridge and retaining walls; as well as upgrading the signaling system.

Improvements to the Port of Sarnia will include a new docking facility to move oversized loads between the transport trucking and marine shipping industries which supply global clients through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway systems. In addition, a 26.7 kilometer route will be built to accommodate local industrial fabricators and manufacturers when transporting oversized loads to the Port of Sarnia. This designated route will reduce or eliminate the need for road closures for residential and commuter traffic and will reduce carbon emissions as goods can be moved more efficiently using this dedicated route.

To improve productivity at the Port of Johnstown, located on the west bank of the St. Lawrence Seaway, nine ageing grain loading spouts will be replaced with four more efficient and modern spouts so that larger vessels can be loaded more quickly. A new grain bin will be added to increase the port’s storage capacity. This renewal and expansion work is designed to ensure the Port of Johnstown can grow as a strategically located major export gateway for Eastern Canada’s agricultural producers.

The Government of Canada, through the National Trade Corridors Fund, is making investments that will support the flow of goods to international markets. While the United States continues to be Canada’s top trade partner with $741.4 billion in trade ($437.6 billion exported, $303.8 billion imported) in 2018, trade is growing with international markets. From 2015 to 2018, trade with Asia (excluding the Middle East) grew by 18.9 percent to $199.2 billion and trade with the European Union grew by 19 percent since 2015 to $118.1 billion in 2018.

Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.