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General

Canada to spend $50 million on program for 1st-time exporters
Cargo Business
The Canadian government will spend $50 million over five years to help small and medium-sized businesses export goods to emerging markets for the first time. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the program, which intends to help up to 1,000 exporters a year. Businesses that receive assistance will be required to match the government money for activities such as trade missions and research.
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British Columbia launches 10-year transportation plan
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
The British Columbia government announced B.C. on the Move, a 10-year transportation plan that outlines critical investments and improvements throughout the province that will improve the daily lives of British Columbians. This $2.5-billion plan will grow the economy, improve safety, maintain and replace aging infrastructure and support trade for British Columbia's expanding resource sectors through Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway.
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Terminal turnover another sign of vitality of Montreal's port
Montreal Gazette
The Montreal Port Authority may not seem like a hot property, but the federally owned facility is attracting new attention from institutional investors. The port's largest two container terminals were sold to a consortium of Quebec investors for an estimated $650 million. The deal is another example of how money management firms are choosing to make infrastructure investments that produce consistent returns over the long term.
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Maersk: 2015 container traffic demand will increase by up to 5 percent
Cargo Business
Demand for container shipping is expected to grow 3 to 5 percent in 2015, but freight rates are expected to continue to decline due to oversupply, according to Lars Mikael Jensen, chief executive of Maersk Line's Asia Pacific region. As ships ordered several years ago are delivered, supply growth is anticipated at 5 to 7 percent, Jensen said. Maersk Line has noted a trend that the average revenue per TEU is dropping amid the rate variations seen in some trades, mainly because of the supply-demand situation.
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Rail


CN reaches tentative labour agreement with Teamsters representing locomotive engineers in Canada
Canadian Shipper
CN has negotiated a tentative labour agreement with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union that represents approximately 1,800 of the company's locomotive engineers in Canada. Details of the tentative settlement are being withheld pending ratification by TCRC members. The union expects to announce the results of the ratification vote by mid-April 2015, said a release.
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CN to build new $250 million intermodal, logistics hub in Ontario
PR Newswire
CN announced a plan to build a $250 million intermodal and logistics hub adjacent to its main line in the town of Milton, Ontario, located approximately 30 miles west of Toronto. Milton has ready access to major highways reaching key industrial and commercial areas in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer, said: "CN's advanced intermodal and logistics facility in Milton will help us efficiently handle growing intermodal traffic."
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Canada's Transportation Safety Board: New tank car standards needed now
Progressive Railroading
The Canadian government needs to roll out stricter tank car standards faster than previously proposed, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada announced in an update on its investigation into the recent derailment of a CN crude-oil train near Gogama, Ontario. The derailment, which caused a massive fire and spilled oil into a nearby waterway, involved Class 111 tank cars built over the past three years that were in compliance with the industry's CPC-1232 standard.
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Trucking


US, Canada agree on preclearance for trucks at border
The Buffalo News
The United States and Canada have struck a diplomatic agreement that will allow U.S.-bound trucks to clear customs on the Canadian side of the border — a deal that could eventually help end the frequent truck backups that tie up Buffalo-bound traffic on the Peace Bridge. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the agreement, saying that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson and Steven Blaney, the Canadian public safety minister, will sign the deal at a ceremony in Washington.
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Trucking approves as Saskatchewan promises to invest heavily in infrastructure
Truck News
The Saskatchewan government earned a toot of the horn from the province's trucking industry today, after introducing a budget that's heavy in infrastructure spending. Highways Minister Nancy Heppner said her department would invest $842 million into infrastructure, a 27 percent increase over last year's budget, marking the highest-ever spending level in the history of the department.
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Drivers satisfied with about half the shippers/receivers they serve
Truck News
Professional drivers responding to the Ontario Trucking Association’s Operation UpGrade survey of the best and worst shipper practices are so far split on the performance of the industry. Half the shippers/receivers rated so far have been given Honour Roll status while the other half were assigned to the Detention Hall. Drivers have indicated many shipping facilities must do a better job of turning around drivers in a reasonable time and removing waste from the system.
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Minister Raitt announces support for mandating ELDs and ESC in Canada
Truck News
After a roundtable meeting with the Canadian Trucking Alliance carrier members earlier today, Federal Transport Minister, Lisa Raitt announced she was personally supporting both electronic logging devices and electronic stability control systems in order to improve safety for everyone on the road. "What I told everyone — in the roundtable — is that you have my personal support to ensure that we have something like this in the legislation in Canada and we want to mimic what's going on in the US but we also want to be mindful of the fact that sometimes we can move the United States in a direction and I think when it comes to safety, this is incredibly important," she said.
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Air


European forwarders optimistic about airfreight
Air Cargo World
European forwarders polled in the latest survey by Danske Bank were generally positive about the growth of airfreight through March and April. According to the bank's latest Freight Forwarding Index, respondents gave the airfreight mode an index of 67, indicating a significant rise in expectations since the 63 that was reported in February. The picture was less rosy on the ocean side. Forwarders in Europe said they expect seafreight bookings to stall over the next two months, with volume during April to have an index of 50 points, down from the March outlook of 52 points.
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IATA chief calls for action on priorities that are 'vital' to air cargo
Canadian Shipper
The International Air Transport Association is calling for further action on three vital aspects of the air cargo business: transitioning to paperless freight processes, a focus on global handling standards for pharmaceutical freight, and tough action to ensure the continued safe transportation of lithium batteries by air. "Air cargo has had a challenging few years. 2014 saw the first significant boost in volumes since 2010, a trend we expect to continue this year," said Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO at the opening of the 9th World Cargo Symposium in Shanghai, China.
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Marine


Infrastructure investment boosts marine shipping
Canada's Weekly Trade and Transportation Magazine
Led by shipowners buying new freighters or rebuilding existing vessels, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence marine corridor is well into a massive infrastructure investment cycle. An investment survey conducted by Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, says that from 2009 to 2018, about $7.1 billion will be spent in Canada and the United States on capital improvements in ships, terminals, ports and the Seaway.
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Deep freeze on Great Lakes halts cargo shipments
The New York Times
The trip to pick up a load of iron ore powder in Conneaut, Ohio, was supposed to take four days by way of the Great Lakes. But within sight of its destination, the cargo ship, the Arthur M. Anderson, got trapped in ice. Two heavy icebreakers from the Canadian Coast Guard eventually broke the vessel free. It was a 24-day ordeal, and the ship returned to its home port in Wisconsin without picking up the cargo. A deep freeze this winter left much of the Great Lakes blanketed in thick ice, sidelining the ship lines and companies that move vast amounts of grain, cement and other commodities through this system of waterways.
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All eyes on the Coast Guards
Canada's Weekly Trade and Transportation Magazine
With the extent of Great Lakes ice coverage once again near historic highs, shippers and shipowners will be watching with their fingers crossed as the Canadian and U.S. Coast Guards open navigation routes this spring. "We are concerned about the ice we'll face," said Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Canadian Shipowners Association. "It is going to be challenging." Canadian and American ship operators have been meeting regularly with the Coast Guards to plan a phased resumption of service.
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GSF calls for rigorous monitoring of shipping alliances' KPIs
World Maritime News
Speaking at the "Transport Week Conference" in Gdansk, Poland, Chris Welsh, GSF secretary general, outlined the need for shipping alliances to reach out to customers and start showing demonstrable improvements in service quality and innovative solutions for shippers. According to Welsh, the necessary first step would be to sort out the current lack of reliability and predictability of their joint operations which is adversely affecting shippers' maritime and logistics supply chains.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    FMA: Shippers 'gratified' to see Windsor-Detroit bridge moving forward (Canadian Shipper)
Minister Raitt: CN Rail needs to testify on oil-by-rail accidents (Reuters via Financial Post)
Unifor ratifies contract with CP; Ontario Northland, union reach deal (Progressive Railroading)
CITT adds logistics courses (Materials Management & Distribution)
Samsung building biggest boxship in the world for MOL (Cargo Business)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.
 

FMA News Bulletin
Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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