Canada Investing C$18.6MM to Boost Supply Chain FluidityWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The government of Canada is allocating funding to a rail park in the Winnipeg, Manitoba, metro region, and for a Port of Nanaimo (British Columbia) study in an effort to boost supply chain fluidity.
Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra on March 15 reported that up to C$18 million will be invested in a 665-acre rail park project at CentrePort Canada, a 20,000-acre inland port in the Rural Municipality of Rosser. The rail park will offer access to road and rail as well as Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. The funding will help cover the costs of a second mainline switch; several kilometers of additional track; a lift station; and connections to access roads.
The Manitoba government and CentrePoint Canada in 2022 selected Focus Equities Inc. as the developer of the rail park, to be served by BNSF, Canadian Pacific (CP) and CN.
“The rail park will improve the movement of goods between different modes of transportation, for instance, from rail to truck, or from air to rail,” according to Transport Canada, which is providing the investment under the under the National Trade Corridors Fund. “This will reduce truck journeys and transloading, addressing congestion on interprovincial highways and thereby reducing pollution.”
“Located adjacent to the Richardson International Airport, central to Canada, the United States, down to Mexico and up to Churchill, and strategic to the provincial, Canadian, and U.S. supply chains, the rail park capitalizes on the Canadian Pacific Railway-Kansas City Southern merger,” Focus Equities Inc. Developer and Owner Kenneth W. Mariash Sr. said. “The federal government’s investment will enhance the interconnectivity across North America improving supply chain efficiencies.”
Also on March 15, Minister of Transport Alghabra reported that up to C$600,000 will be provided, under the National Trade Corridors Fund, for the Nanaimo Port Authority to study the expansion of container handling capacity; the development of land near the port to support economic growth, job creation and trade; and the assessment of potential improvements to the transportation of cargo by sea over short distances between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
For example, the study will determine the possibility of expanding the Vancouver Island’s Duke Point Terminal, to help alleviate bottlenecks at Vancouver’s deep-sea terminals, according to Transport Canada. It will also look at the feasibility of improving the terminal’s infrastructure, “providing better connectivity to transfer cargo from barges to railcars on the mainland.” The Pacific region could see increased import/export capacity of goods from the forestry and agriculture sectors, as well as seafood and other food sectors, the agency reported.
“Canadian exporters rely on a strong supply chain, especially at hubs like the Port of Nanaimo,” Alghabra said. “Investments, such as the one we are announcing today [March 15], will facilitate the movement of goods at the port, help the economy of the Pacific region grow, and create good jobs for Canadians.”
“The Port of Nanaimo is appreciative of the National Trade Corridors Funding award to study how additional expansion of the Duke Point Terminal, combined with upland development can provide new import/export opportunities for Vancouver Island communities and increase resiliency and capacity for the broader Pacific Region supply chain network,” Nanaimo Port Authority President and CEO Ian Marr said.