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Canadian international merchandise trade, June 2015
Canada's exports increased 6.3 per cent in June while imports declined 0.6 per cent. Export volumes rose 4.8 per cent and prices 1.5 per cent. For imports, volumes declined 0.9 per cent while prices were up 0.3 per cent.
As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $3.4 billion in May to $476 million in June.
Exports to the United States rose 7.1 per cent to $34.2 billion in June. Exports to countries other than the United States increased 3.8 per cent to $10.4 billion. A $646 million increase in exports to the United Kingdom was partially offset by a $289 million decrease in exports to Switzerland.
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Ottawa closes sale of Canadian Wheat Board
The federal government has closed the book on what was once called the Canadian Wheat Board.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says Ottawa has finalized the sale of the agency that marketed grain for western Canadian farmers since 1935 to G3 Global Grain Group.
G3 says the board, known recently as CWB, will be combined with Bunge Canada to form a new company called G3 Canada Ltd.
CN president, CEO Claude Mongeau informs employees and stakeholders of health setback
Canadian National Railway Company
In a communication addressed to all CN employees, Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, advises that he will soon need to undergo surgery to remove a rare type of precancerous soft-tissue tumour located in the upper left part of his larynx. The medical treatment plan will call for a surgery towards the end of August or early in September, an expected month or so to heal properly, followed by around six weeks of targeted radiation therapy to completely cure the illness so the tumour does not recur in the future.
CP preps 'dedicated trains' for western Canada's grain shippers
Canadian Pacific (CP) anticipates adding more trains to its Dedicated Train Program serving western Canadian grain shippers for the 2015-16 crop year, the Class I announced.
CP is gearing up to offer "best-in-class service" to respond to greater demand to move grain and grain products from western Canada. Introduced last crop year, the DTP is designed to provide customers greater control of car supply to manage their supply chain, according to a CP press release.
STB: Rail industry's cost of capital contracted in 2014
The Surface Transportation Board announced the railroad industry's composite after-tax cost of capital has been calculated at 10.65 percent for 2014, down from 11.32 percent In 2013.
The cost-of-capital figure represents the board's estimate of the average rate of return needed to persuade investors to provide capital to the freight-rail industry, according to an STB press release.
The board calculates the figure annually, and uses it to evaluate the adequacy of an individual railroad's revenue each year.
Is Bakken CBR fading away?
"Bakken crude-by-rail (CBR) volumes are down this year and pipeline shipments are increasing as production levels off in the wake of last year's price crash," says RBN's Rusty Braziel. "The trend is encouraged by lower price differentials between domestic and international crude as well as new pipelines coming online. Since 2012 a combination of rail and pipeline has given Bakken producers ample crude takeaway capacity but pipelines alone have not had sufficient capacity on their own. However, with production slowing down, pipeline capacity is catching up, and by 2017 there should be enough pipelines to carry all North Dakota's crude to market."
Program launched to help curb cargo theft in Atlantic Canada
A national cargo theft reporting program that started as a pilot program in Quebec and Ontario is being expanded to Atlantic Canada.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada, the RCMP, and the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association are joining forces to run the program in the region.
The Canadian Trucking Association says the theft of cargo is a $5 billion problem each year in Canada.
Ontario to implement new pension plan in 2017
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne provided details on the design of the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.
The ORPP was one of the Premier's initial election promises and the government claims the program will address the 3.5 million Ontario workers that do not have a secure workplace pension plan.
The Premier added that the ORPP will be phased in. The hope of the provincial government is that every employee — even the self-employed — in the province would be part of the ORPP or comparable pension plan by 2020.
Game over! Canada beats US in truck safety blitz
Just released figures from a previously unannounced one-day truck safety crackdown show inspectors in Canada found a fewer percentage of problems than in the U.S.
According to results released Wednesday by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which certifies truck inspectors, more than 6,300 trucks and buses were checked on May 6 in 32 Canadian provinces and U.S. states, along with Puerto Rico, as part of its Operation Airbrake.
US trucking conditions are looking up
After hitting a three-year low in May, FTR's Trucking Conditions Index rose to the highest level recorded in 2015.
According to the data, the TCI measure for June jumped 56 per cent to 7.66 from May.
FTR said that though freight growth slowed during Q2, it is on track for the sixth straight year of annual gains. The firm added that drops in fuel costs, "continue to be a positive for everyone involved" though with labour costs increasing, there is still pressure for rising rates.
Port of Halifax hopes post-Panamax ships bring big business
The arrival of bigger, post-Panamax container ships which recently is good news for the struggling port of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The CMA-CGM Vivaldi stopped at the Halterm terminal carrying 8478 TEUs (total equivalent units) the largest container ship to call on the port.
An even bigger ship, known as a super post-Panamax ship built for 9200 TEU is scheduled to arrive in Halifax next month.
Both of these larger vessels are owned by CMA-CGM of France, the third largest container shipping company in the world with 445 ships.
Egypt launches Suez Canal expansion
Egypt has opened a major expansion of the Suez Canal, which deepens the main waterway and provides ships with a 35km (22 mile) channel parallel to it.
At the inauguration, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi welcomed foreign leaders aboard a historic yacht as helicopters and fighter jets flew by.
The expansion aims to increase the traffic handled by the canal.
Canada invests in improving safety of Arctic shipping
The Canadian Government is set to invest $22.7m in enhancing the safety of marine transportation in the Arctic.
As part of a five-year plan, the new investment will support the northern economy and remote communities as they depend on marine transport for supplies, fuel and economic development.
Canada Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said, "The Government of Canada is proud to announce these improvements in marine transportation in the Arctic."
Maersk Line adds Prince Rupert to Far East-Alaska service
Maersk Line is adding Prince Rupert to its Far East-Alaska service. The revised service will call at Yokohama, Hakata, Busan, Dalian, Qingdao, Prince Rupert, Dutch Harbour, Yokohama, with the first call at Prince Rupert planned on Aug. 27 with the 1,732-TEURHL Astrum, reports Alphaliner.
The service will turn in five weeks instead of four weeks to cater for the extra distance.
'Unprecedented' shipping volumes at Port of Oshawa
The Oshawa Express
The shipping season at the Port of Oshawa is off to a wildly successful start, with shipments up by an "unprecedented" 93 per cent, the port recently announced in a press release.
Since the start of the season in April, volumes on almost every type of cargo moving through Oshawa's port, from steel to potash to calcium chloride are all way up from the same time last year.
"It is good news, and it's up really quite significantly," says Gary Valcour, chairman of the board of the Oshawa Port Authority.
New Air China Cargo route links Alberta with Asia
Air China Cargo's new freight service between Shanghai and Edmonton, Alberta, is a "game-changer" for western Canadian trade with Asia, say officials.
Starting Sept. 3, China's flag-carrying air cargo carrier, ACC, will fly high-capacity Boeing 777Fs on a Shanghai-Edmonton-Dallas-Edmonton-Shanghai routing. Shanghai's Pudong International Airport ranks as the world's third-largest cargo hub.
The flight serves Edmonton six times per week, with three flights from Dallas and three from Shanghai.
New $12 million air cargo terminal opens in Ontario
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton airport's new cargo terminal is wheels up.
The $12-million Ontario facility was officially opened recently, even though its main tenant has been operating from it for a month.
Airport president Frank Scremin said the new terminals, with a cooler, secured customs area and 16 truck bays, will open Mount Hope airport to tons of cargo it hasn't been able to handle before.
"This will open access to the overnight express business in Hamilton to a lot of cargo operators," Scremin said. "This facility is going to be accessible for them."
Air freight slowdown continues — Several regions in decline
International Air Transport Association
The International Air Transport Association released data for global air freight markets showing a slowdown in growth for air cargo demand in June. Air freight volumes measured in freight tonne kilometers rose just 1.2 per cent compared to a year ago. This is consistent with falling trade activity and weaker than expected global growth.
Regional performance varied widely. Asia-Pacific, North American and Latin American carriers reported year-on-year declines — -0.3 per cent, -3.3 per cent, and -1.6 per cent respectively — while European carriers reported that markets were flat.
Air Canada bans African animal trophies as freight
Air Canada says it has a new policy, effective immediately, not to carry any shipment of lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros or Cape buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.
The airline made the statement today in response to a query from CBC News.
But you won't have trouble transporting some Canadian animal trophies, such as black bears or grizzly bears. Even polar bears can be shipped with the correct government permits.
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