Canada has been gradually increasing its market share of international trade volumes in the Asia Pacific. The success of the Western Gateway can be attributed to strategic investments in infrastructure, competitive pricing and labour stability. Building on this success is a significant amount of private sector investment in Canadian ports and marine terminals. An efficient and cost–effective transportation system is critical in supporting these investments.
With further commitments to increase federal funding in infrastructure, it is critical that the cumulative impact of cost recovery for infrastructure, added services and competition for rail service does not erode competitiveness of Canadian gateways.
Competitiveness in our trade corridors can be realized by:
- A regional process that is tasked with overseeing the competitiveness of our gateways from an overall cost and regulatory compliance perspective. Such an authority should aim to reduce red-tape and cost to industry and the consumer;
- Supporting principles under the User Fee Act while streamlining and making consistent the fee approval process throughout the supply chain. Federal departments and ports must be able to react to changes in service level requirements;
- Requiring transparent service level agreements and standards where monopolistic services exist supported by a common and clear dispute resolution mechanism;
- Administrative monetary penalties that are reasonable and designed to improve performance and compliance. Federal departments should not impose harsh punitive penalties to companies that are self-reporting or acting in good faith;
- Developing incentives for short-sea shipping as feeder services to larger deep-sea vessels. Short-sea shipping provides numerous environmental, cost, and social benefits. Including reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions;
- New trusted trader programs to reduce administrative burden on federal departments and domestic and foreign carriers; and
Encouraging the adoption of new technologies to manage compliance and add efficiencies in risk assessment and inspections.