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Rail industry affirms both rail and pipelines will move crude oil safely and reliably across North America
Association of American Railroads
Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger addressed energy and financial industry leaders in Washington, D.C., and reaffirmed the rail industry's commitment to haul crude oil safely and reliably as America continues on a path toward energy independence. Hamberger also emphasized that both rail and pipelines will have major roles in moving crude oil across North America as the domestic energy industry continues to grow.
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Canadian Industrial Transportation Association rebrands
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the association has changed its name from the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association to the Freight Management Association of Canada (association canadienne de gestion du fret).
The association — "The National Voice of the Shipper" — has represented the interests of the Canadian shipper community to all levels of government, international agencies, carrier groups and other stakeholders continuously since 1916.
Canada's export to GDP ratio strong in 2012
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Canada's export-to-GDP ratio was the second highest of the G7 countries in 2012 at 25 percent of GDP, behind only Germany. Yet, as shown, export intensity varies extensively across provinces. New Brunswick was the most export-intensive province for the second consecutive year in 2012, with a merchandise export-to-GDP ratio of 47 percent. This performance was largely due to non-crude oil exports, which represented 66 percent of New Brunswick's total merchandise exports in 2012. Since 2007 — with the exception of the post-crisis year in 2009 — New Brunswick's export-to-GDP ratio has remained over 40 percent. New Brunswick's high export-intensity may partly reflect its role as an air and road transportation hub for Maritime exports to the U.S., the largest export destination for Maritime products. Still, New Brunswick's economic size is relatively small and its exports only accounted for some 3 percent of total Canadian exports in 2012.
After New Brunswick, Saskatchewan is the next most export-intensive province with an export-to-GDP ratio of 40 percent. While oil (mostly crude oil) is also Saskatchewan's top export, potash, and cereals (primarily wheat) are also important exports for the province. Together these three commodities represented 69 percent of Saskatchewan's total exports in 2012. During the past five years, Saskatchewan's export-to-GDP ratio was consistently above 35 percent.
Canada's largest exporters Ontario and Alberta are less export-intensive than New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, but still above the national average. Ontario, the largest economy and largest exporter in Canada, posted an export-to-GDP ratio of 28 percent in 2012, while Alberta exported an equivalent of 31 percent of its GDP.
On the other hand, Manitoba, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, the Yukon and Nunavut all displayed export-to-GDP ratios less than the national average in 2012, ranging from 1 percent in Nunavut to 20 percent in Manitoba.
The Upshot — On the export front, New Brunswick's economy may be small, but it is mighty — its merchandise export-to-GDP ratio is consistently among the highest of all provinces and it was the most export-intensive province in 2012. Likewise, Saskatchewan's export-to-GDP ratio consistently remained amongst the highest of all provinces in the last five years and was second in 2012.
TransCore reports record Canadian spot market freight volumes
TransCore says its Canadian freight volumes showed "stellar" results in December, establishing a new record high for December load volumes.
With two fewer shipping days than November, December's load volumes were up 11 percent month-over-month, representing the highest month-over-month gain in the second half of the year. December also marked the largest year-over-year increase compared to any other month in 2013, and surpassed December 2012 load volumes by 29 percent.
Rail tunnel construction could begin this year
The president of the Windsor Port Authority says construction of a new multi-million-dollar rail tunnel between Windsor and Detroit could begin later in the year.
David Cree is expecting the necessary environmental assessment and permits on both sides of the border to be approved by mid-year.
It has previously been reported the project has all environmental permits in the U.S. It still requires a presidential permit, according to a report published in Crain's Detroit Business.
Railways must improve service to grain shippers
By Doug Chorney
It's not news anymore that western Canadian farmers harvested their largest crops ever in 2013. Record yields were met with unbridled excitement as farmers anticipated high yields would offset declining grain and oilseed prices.
What's news now is that last fall's optimism has turned into concern because these crops are still on the farm. Abysmal service once again by Canada's two major railways has limited crop movement so drastically that grain companies, which buy and market the crops, are buying very limited amounts — or are not buying at all.
Amtrak stop eyed for North Dakota oil boom town
Culbertson, N.D., may be added to Amtrak's national network due in part to ongoing shale oil activity in the Bakken formation, according to the National Association of Railroad Passengers.
The stop would be served by Amtrak's long-distance Empire Builder, whose on-time performance has been hampered in recent weeks due in part to the substation increase in rail traffic generated by the oil shale activity.
ATA: 2013 was the best year for US truck tonnage since 1998
If the trucking industry is still struggling, it's not for lack of freight to haul.
The American Trucking Associations Truck Tonnage Index just concluded its strongest year since 1998.
For-hire truck tonnage in the U.S. rose 0.6 percent in December, on the heels of a 4.7 percent spike in November, the ATA reported. The increases pushed the index 6.2 percent higher for the full year of 2013, making it the strongest year for U.S. tonnage in 15 years.
Report: Moving dangerous goods by truck not so dangerous
With the transportation of dangerous goods on the radar of federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt following a devastating train wreck in Lac Megantic earlier this year, the Canadian Trucking Alliance is looking at its own industry's best practices.
The Alliance issued a white paper on the transportation of dangerous goods by truck. This after Raitt said she would be conducting a review of the situation and would make recommendations to prevent tragedies such as the one that occurred in Lac Megantic from occurring again.
Amidst cargo developments, Alberta airport sees another quarter of growth
Air Cargo World
Edmonton International Airport in Alberta, Canada, saw its 14th consecutive quarter of cargo volume growth. Developments to EIA's cargo service abounded in 2013. In March, AOG International Freight Logistics — a freight forwarding company — relocated to EIA's Cargo Village. Cargo Village includes places for Customs, freight forwarders, air carriers, logistics and warehousing.
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Transport Canada worries about airport runway construction
Transport Canada says its biggest issue with a proposed runway extension at Toronto's island airport would be exactly how construction would take place.
"Our main concern is during that process how an airport would continue to operate while construction was being undertaken on an airport, whether it's Billy Bishop or any other airport," said Michael Stephenson, regional director-general of Transport Canada, during a public meeting.
IMB report: Somali pirate clampdown caused drop in global piracy
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Piracy at sea has reached its lowest levels in six years, with 264 attacks recorded worldwide in 2013, a 40 percent drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011, the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau revealed. Just 15 incidents were reported off Somalia in 2013, down from 75 in 2012 and 237 in 2011. IMB's annual global piracy report shows more than 300 people were taken hostage at sea last year and 21 were injured, nearly all with guns or knives. A total of 12 vessels were hijacked, 202 were boarded, 22 were fired upon and a further 28 reported attempted attacks. Nigerian pirates were particularly violent.
"The single biggest reason for the drop in worldwide piracy is the decrease in Somali piracy off the coast of East Africa," said the director of IMB, whose Piracy Reporting Centre has monitored world piracy since 1991. IMB says Somali pirates have been deterred by a combination of factors, including the key role of international navies, the hardening of vessels and other recommendations in the shipping industry's Best Management Practices, the use of private armed security teams and the stabilizing influence of Somalia's central government. The 15 incidents attributed to Somali pirates in 2013 include two hijacked vessels, both of which were released within a day as a result of naval actions. A further eight vessels were fired upon. These figures are the lowest since 2006, when 10 Somali attacks were recorded.
P3 to change global maritime landscape
Globe Express Services
It's too early to predict precisely how the container shipping business will play out in the new year, but there is one certainty: The P3 Network will shake things up in a big way assuming it passes muster with regulators. In the six months since Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM announced they would pool their biggest ships in a giant vessel-sharing alliance in the main east-west trades, competing liner companies have been playing catch-up in an effort to match the P3's market size and power.
Seaway concludes season with surge in grain shipments
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
For the second consecutive year, a surge in grain movements led to a strong finish for the St. Lawrence Seaway. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation announced that the Seaway closed for the season on Jan. 1, with the eastbound vessel Orsula transiting the St. Lambert Lock in Montreal at 1:29 p.m. The last vessel to exit the Welland Canal was the CSL Laurentian, which transited Lock 8 at 3:38 p.m. the same day. Consequently, both sections of the Seaway were open for 286 days, given an opening date of March 22.
A relatively late harvest in the Prairies producing record breaking volumes led to a delay in the movement of grain. Once the grain began to move, the Seaway played a key role in enabling farmers to move their crops to market, contributing to a surge in Seaway cargo during the month of December. Despite the cold snap enveloping much of North America, a total of 4.4 million tonnes of cargo moved through the Seaway in December, exceeding last year's December volume by 130,000 tonnes, and eclipsing the five year December average by some 20 percent.
Seaway tonnage for the 2013 navigation season which began on March 22 amounted to 37 million tonnes, some 5.3 percent lower than the volumes experienced in 2012. Despite the late season surge in grain, overall grain tonnage was down 3.2 percent in 2013 as much of the record crop was quite late. However, the high volumes of grain currently going into storage and the pent up demand for grain movements bodes well for the start of the Seaway's 2014 navigation season.
The bright spot in the Seaway's cargo mix was a 12 percent increase in liquid bulk, as double hulled tankers moved volumes of petroleum distillates between distribution locations to smooth out inventory levels and ensure adequate supplies in key markets. In other sectors, iron ore was down 4 percent reflecting the challenging climate within the North American steel industry. Reduced imports of steel products contributed to a 20 percent decline in break-bulk cargo. Movements of dry bulk were down 12 percent as reduced construction activity in infrastructure projects lowered the demand for cargoes such as cement and aggregates.
The influx of new state-of-the art vessels, purpose built for Seaway use, continued during the 2013 navigation season. Boasting sharp increases in fuel efficiency and reductions in emission levels, these new vessels are part of a billion dollar fleet renewal effort being undertaken by both domestic and ocean carriers. Combined with a $400 million program underway at the SLSMC to renew infrastructure, these investments testify to the Seaway's enduring value and the faith of both carriers and the government in its future.
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