Read remarks by Robin Silvester, Port Metro Vancouver’s President and CEO, to the Vancouver Board of Trade from December 7, 2012.
Read remarks from the September 20, 2012 closing session to the World Shipping Summit in Xiamen,China focusing on Sharing an Orderly Market across the industry.
Read the opening remarks to the August 20, 2012 annual ACPA AGM and conference focusing on the game-changing developments which will transform the port industry in coming years.
Read the June 5, 2012 keynote speech at the BC Chamber Summit on Transportation covering collaboration as the key to building our economy and securing our future.
Read the remarks from the 2012 Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference panel discussion: "Should U.S. containers moving through Canadian ports be taxed?"
Read remarks from the January 26, 2012 Special Strategy Session of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors covering Port Metro Vancouver's Port 2050 initiative.
Check against delivery.
A Time to Plan, and a Time to Act
Leading change. Hard work. Collaboration and shared commitment. The responsibility to leave a legacy that future generations can be proud of. These are central to the Port 2050 initiative, as is the view of all those who shaped the effort, that a ‘Great Transition’ looks almost certain to be at the core of how and why we do things in the future.
When I began thinking about this address some months ago, I planned to talk only about the Port 2050 strategic visioning process. That’s because the 2050 initiative was an eye-opener for the Port, and for all the stakeholders who took part in it. They included small business. Big business. Unions. Farmers. First Nations. Railways. Truckers. Environmentalists. Shipping companies. Federal, provincial, and municipal officials.
There were diverse opinions and wide-ranging views. Yet, we all emerged from the visioning effort in agreement that while we can’t accurately predict the future, we can certainly plan to be ready for it.
Since then, however, we’ve seen some remarkable developments. Developments that seem to indicate that some of the changes and volatility that we collectively envisaged in the scenarios process is closer than we perhaps thought. The Greece crisis. The Italy crisis. Monetary and market upheavals. The Occupy movement, and the questioning its early hours provoked in the public about fundamental and important issues. The future is coming at us faster than we could have imagined, faster than the capacity and adaptability of some to face it head on.
The message from all of these developments is that planning processes are important, and what’s more important is the individual and collaborative action required to advance them. Not action decades from today, but action now.
So that’s what I’m going to talk about today: a time to plan, and a time to act. We need to start taking the actions that will allow us to preserve and increase the jobs that produce our standard of living and support the services we need and rely on.
We need to start acting on job creation today.
When I used that phrase with a colleague —“We need to start acting on job creation today”— the response was, “You sound like a politician.” Well, I’m not a politician, that’s not my field, but if that statement signifies some common ground, then it does mean, to me, that there’s a greater opportunity for collaboration. And through the Port 2050 experience, and our collective experience of recent events around the world — there is ample evidence that all of us need to act together to succeed in leadership.
The 2050 initiative showed us that whether it’s a short- and mid-term increase in exporting our oil and gas and a long-term move away from hydro-carbon fuels, or the effects of climate change, or a restructuring of global trade and international markets, or the inevitable and necessary growth of our own population here in Canada, change will always wait outside our door.
We know that the frightening ‘Missed the Boat’ and ‘Local Fortress’ scenarios will be realized if we don’t collaborate within the Gateway supply chain.
Given the velocity and implications of situations like Greece and Italy, ‘The Great Transition’ scenario doesn’t seem so futuristic at all. The triggers may be more economic and societal, rather than the climate change and environmental triggers we perhaps imagined when preparing the 2050 scenarios. But the effect is the same, and it seems like it’s already beginning. I think it makes some feel that change is coming so fast and so hard that maybe we can’t cope with it. We feel powerless. Helpless.
Yet we are positioned to emerge through this rough and risky period as a global success that sees us institutionalize a triple-bottom-line involving the economy, the environment, and the services that sustain our society.
But Port 2050 isn’t just about the Port and port communities. And, we can’t do it alone. Neither can your business or your industry do it by yourselves. It will take all of us to drive a collaborative effort, and ensure that we have the leadership that has the will to turn that collaboration into the action and the results needed to meet these challenges.
How we meet change will determine if all of us in this room, our neighbours, the people of this region, this province, this country, and the next generation, will prosper. Or not. Success is not guaranteed to any one of us. As the Port 2050 process made clear to us, there is no certainty.
It also demonstrated that the chances for success and prosperity — yours, mine, all of ours — are dramatically increased when the job generators face the future together and take the action necessary that gives meaning to the preparations.
Why? Because, in lean times and in good times, people want to work.
They want to work, and see their children work to build their own bright futures.
And we need to do what’s required so they can.
We are the businesses and industries that create the jobs people need. We’re not politicians, but we can drive the job creation that must be the core of any political agenda.Here in the Lower Mainland and in BC, we owe so much of what we have today to the simple fact that it was here that a transcontinental railway reached tidewater. First in Port Moody, then Vancouver, the Port allowed trade and commerce to flourish. Today, Port Metro Vancouver has become Canada’s most important asset in the growth and prosperity of our Pacific Gateway, a driving force in delivering and leveraging supply chain value for industry, communities, and our nation.
The most diversified port in North America: with facilities and operations in sixteen host communities, with benefits that flow to dozens of other communities right across the country, through indirect links and port-related jobs.
This port — built by people in this room, built by our neighbours, and built by those who came before us — is Canada’s largest and busiest, trading $75 billion in goods annually. It’s an essential component of our national economic and social fabric, handling and shipping what we manufacture, what we mine, what we harvest, and what we need.
Through it, working Canadians — here and across the Western provinces — export wood, grains, coal, sulphur, potash, oil and gas, and other resources to more than 160 trading economies around the world, economies that know in an instant whether we’re up to the challenge or slipping behind our competitors. Through the Port, we import the goods and consumer products from the Asia-Pacific region that we depend on locally, across Canada, and in communities across North America.
But what we export and import today — and from where we export it and import it— will change in the coming years. Markets and commodities and consumer goods will rise and fall and change — and we have to prepare for that. But just how do you prepare for chance and change when what you’re preparing for is, at this point, almost by definition, either unshaped or unknown? We discovered, through the Port 2050 visioning initiative, that you do it by putting in place that which gives you the ability to adapt to change. You tackle the hard problems and you put in place the policies and programs and people that will allow — to the greatest extent possible — the flexibility to deal with change in external circumstances that also allows us the greatest chance of success in adapting to it.
Do we need to do this? It’s certainly not an easy task. But Greece and Italy tell us that if we don’t, then we face a bleak future.
Not so long ago, some might have answered that question by talking about the need to preserve our size, our rank, our reach, our prestige, or our prominence. I’ve just spoken about the Port in the same way. But increasingly, with so much global economic uncertainty and turmoil, I find it more important and fundamentally helpful to answer the ‘why’ question this way: 129,000 jobs. That’s 129,000 jobs in the Port’s supply chain alone. There are tens of thousands —hundreds of thousands — more jobs, in the heart of communities throughout our nation, that depend on the Port to get their goods to market or bring their goods from overseas.
You’ll know the number of jobs your business or industry generates. But for the Port, those hundreds of thousands of jobs are why we need to re-examine current policies and programs that have a bearing on whether we can preserve and increase those jobs.
Why we need to take action when policies of governments or agencies threaten existing jobs and impede the creation of new ones.
And why we need to be unafraid to replace policies and programs outright, if doing so allows us the flexibility to deal with change, and adapt.
At a time when markets reel because the United States creates only 80,000 jobs in a month, hundreds of thousands of jobs in Canada depend on this Port. But what’s more important than the jobs, is who those people are.
It’s the family in Delta, who depend on employment in a company that maintains port cranes.
The family on the North Shore who depend on employment as an engineer designing new machinery to load grain.
The family in Richmond, who depend on a firm that produces and maintains software for a trading and shipping company.
The family in Surrey, who operate a container truck that services port facilities.
The family in an Interior First Nations community working for a mining operation that has a contract to produce and deliver its commodity to a South Korean manufacturer.
The family in the Kootenays who depend on employment as an accountant for a coal company that ships to Japan.
It means that for people and families across Western Canada, who want to make a go of it in their community, everything we do here to help the Port in this community — or that we fail to take on if it’s threatening the Port or limiting its future — everything counts. And counts enormously.
It means that an efficient and competitive port, with an efficient and competitive supply chain, represents the family in the Alberta oil patch, who needs to get that critical commodity to China.
It includes the families in Saskatchewan and Manitoba who grow grains and crops and depend on economical and timely shipping to global markets.
Beyond Western Canada, it includes the family in Montreal or Newfoundland that sells shoes made in Vietnam, or installs air conditioners manufactured in and imported from Qingdao.
Those jobs depend on this Port and this Gateway, jobs that provide the revenue that municipalities, provinces and the federal government need to provide the services everyone requires. All of those jobs depend on a competitive and efficient supply chain that may begin or end in towns and cities across the land, but ultimately depend on the jobs and the services that we’ve created here.
How do we get ready for change, big and small, and how do we protect and grow jobs, when we don’t yet know the effects of change? In our case, we began by talking. And through that, we quickly learned that we need to collaborate, to be fearless in our discussions, and be willing to take action.
You may already know what is required to handle change in your world, about what your businesses and industries need to prosper in the future. You may already know what your neighbours think is required in their world. About what your municipalities, your province, your country will need to be flexible and able to deal with situations, structures, obstacles and approaches that threaten our jobs, our economy, our services, our environment, our society.
While each of you will have a response that differs from that of your neighbour, I can tell you — having gone through our Port 2050 visioning process — that I think you may be surprised at what we can agree and work on together.
What sorts of things need to be examined? Each of you will likely have an idea of what’s important. And so does the Port.
Certainly, we think there has to be a cooperative process with federal, provincial, and municipal governments, where everyone is able to express their hopes along with their fears, in a respectful way, but where all can find input into a process that ultimately allows what we make, what we mine, what we harvest, and what we need to have efficient access to the markets that will buy them. That’s how we’ll ensure those thousands of jobs, and more of them in the future.
But we need to be bold, too. We need to be fearless, taking on issues and forging linkages that preference or easy practice have put off limits in the past. And before they can be accepted, or rejected, they need to be openly and honestly discussed.
For example, some have suggested that the time has arrived for a single West Coast Port. One that ensures BC ports aren’t competing with one another at each other’s expense, but are, instead, working together to compete against other ports in other countries that want the jobs and the economic benefits that our ports have won through hard work and effort.
Others might suggest that it’s time to seriously re-think land-use planning, so that the facilities and infrastructure required by our own inevitable population growth and a changing world will be accommodated without sudden or unexpected impact. Perhaps it’s not just an Agricultural Land Reserve that’s needed in British Columbia, but a Jobs Land Reserve. A reserve where land that is critical to the jobs we have, and the new jobs that we will require over the next 30 to 40 years, allows them to grow and flourish.
Others would go further still. These voices might suggest that it’s right to bring innovation and leadership to bear on Port land-use decisions —to better address the threat to job preservation and growth arising from multiple, expensive and separate municipal engagement and decision-making processes — to ensure that the next generation in Delta, the North Shore, Richmond, Surrey and throughout the Lower Mainland have the chance to secure their future through good jobs, with good paycheques, made possible by a Gateway that has prospered through integrated and affordable municipal decision-making, and streamlined and efficient engagement, on how the Port uses its lands.
All of us in this room — our businesses, our industries, our business groups like the Vancouver Board of Trade and our chambers of commerce — need to think fast and hard about these changes. In recent years, there have been some spectacular failures of leadership and institutions around the world. Some have lost hope as a result, and others are losing it. Cynicism and doubt are building about what can be done, or if anything can be done at all.
Never has there been a greater need for those who generate jobs to make their voices heard on what’s required to counter this cynicism and this despair: the preservation of jobs and the creation of new ones. We need to keep those 129,000 Port jobs, and the hundreds of thousands of other jobs the Gateway supply chain supports, and we’ll need to create more of them for the next generation, and the one after that.
Yes, there will be voices that decry such an effort, or discourage its effectiveness. There always are. Perhaps Greece and Italy offer us an example of what happens when those who decry prevail. Politics, too, will always continue to factor in. But there is common ground on that front, as well, with recognition the effort must be about growing and preserving and creating the jobs that BC needs to ensure the jobs that Canada needs can be created, about creating the wealth that we need to support the social services we require. Political parties may have differing views on many things, but they fundamentally agree that a healthy economy, with good jobs and good paycheques, is absolutely necessary to support what a government needs to do, or wants to do.
The key, though, is us. The Port, our Gateway partners, the Board of Trade, all of us need to step up. And we need to do it now. When the global economy goes from being a media phrase to something that threatens our jobs or our retirements or the services we receive from our governments, then it’s suddenly very personal. And unsettling. Hope can get lost. And when hope gets lost, fear takes hold. Fear that our future will be bleak. Fear that our hopes and dreams are dashed. Fear that what we’ve worked for will be lost.
But Port 2050 tells us that leadership and action trump those fears. And because so many people feel they are losing hope, we must lead like never before. It’s up to us to identify the roads to job preservation and creation and the economic prosperity and the government services and the environmental sustainability that job creation makes possible. It’s up to us to face what keeps some of us apart and to deal directly with what’s hindering job creation. I believe there is an important role to be played by our business, and yours, that will gain us the ability to face change in the future with confidence instead of pessimism or fear.
The Port, of course, faces its own threats. Recently we’ve seen the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission open an inquiry into Canadian and Mexican ports. U.S. politicians say we’re “diverting” U.S. traffic from their ports to ours. They fail to mention that this traffic, and where cargo enters or leaves North America, is the choice of shippers who seek out the most competitive and efficient Gateway through which to ship.
There are some U.S. voices of reason, however. They’ve called the U.S. action nonsense, and suggest that the U.S. should focus on domestic impediments to U.S. port competitiveness, not external ones. These same voices call what we’ve done in this country a best practice that the U.S. can learn from.
It’s always nice to hear Americans sing Canada’s praises for our people and our practices, and there’s been much of that these past few years. This latest bit of U.S. political chicanery seems born of fear that their economy, their way of life, is slipping away. What’s wrong in America cannot be fixed by attacking what’s right in Canada, but that’s what happens when jobs are lost, job creation sputters, and fear takes hold.
I raise this example because whether it’s this threat to us, or a threat to your business, we need to work together and stand together to put down such distractions. Because we’ve done good things. We’ve come through the early part of the global meltdown in better shape than most. And we need to stand together, to work together, and make the changes required in order to succeed whatever else the world has in store.
I urge you to consider what you think needs to be done to ensure that our futures are bright, to keep and create the jobs and the paycheques and the services we depend on, in a world where the only constant is more change. I encourage you to join together, to put your issues and ideas on the table, and fearlessly discuss them. I challenge each of us to step up and lead. Because it is our industry and yours that will create the jobs and make hope, reality.
It is jobs, and all they provide, that will get us to the kind of future we want.
The key to our Anticipated Future, is to act.
We need to do it, and we need to do it now.
People want to work.
And we all want a bright, vibrant, future.
Let's work together to create those jobs, and shape our future, for the port, for our communities, our Province, our Nation.
For all of us.
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Port Metro Vancouver – Delivering Capacity and Reliability
Chairman Wei [of COSCO Group], honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen: Good morning.
My name is Robin Silvester, and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s largest and most diversified port. On behalf of our Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team, I offer my congratulations to the conference organizers for hosting this important international summit, in this beautiful location, and I thank you for inviting me to participate along with my esteemed colleagues.
To Port Metro Vancouver’s many customers here this afternoon: I thank you for your business and continued confidence in the Vancouver Gateway. Your business decisions directly influence our success. We value your continued loyalty and we recognize the significance of the solid, long term relationships we have built together.
It’s our goal to establish the Vancouver Gateway as the most efficient and reliable choice on the west coast of North America to service your transportation and logistics requirements.
The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia also work with industry to further our nation’s trade potential through promotion and policy support. Most importantly, they stimulate our economy by carrying out their traditional role of developing public infrastructure. That’s their job, and they do it well.
For our part, we offer strong leadership, established government relationships, and industry-leading port operations initiatives. With the ongoing commitment of our service partners and port users, we are working to deliver consistency, reliability, capable capacity and sustainable growth, while also advancing vital environmental programs that pay dividends for our host communities and industry partners.
Along with our natural geographic advantages, a vibrant export trade, a strong Canadian economy that drives consumer demand for imports, and extraordinary industry and government collaboration, Port Metro Vancouver represents a dynamic Gateway for international trade.
Today I’m pleased to discuss with you some of our opportunities and the background to some of our achievements.
At the moment, Port Metro Vancouver offers 3.7 million TEU in annual container handling capacity, out of a total capacity of 4.4 million TEU for the entire BC Coast. Container traffic through Canada’s Pacific Gateway is expected to double over the next 10 to 15 years, and nearly triple by 2030. We will require 4 million TEUs of additional capacity by 2030.
We estimate that capacity improvement opportunities will need to come on line when throughput reaches 85% of existing capacity. This will ensure we provide capacity to meet the demands of our customers, and ensure appropriate investment returns for our terminal operations partners.
We know from experience that private and institutional investors have demonstrated a preference for the lower risk profiles associated with “load center” ports like ours, and this competitive advantage will continue to work in our favour.
To meet the anticipated growth in demand for capacity in our Gateway, our overarching Container Capacity Improvement Program will maximize the capacity of existing infrastructure before creating new infrastructure.
We are currently assessing options to provide up to 600,000 TEUs of additional capacity at our existing Deltaport container terminal by replacing an at-grade rail crossing, constructing additional storage tracks, and upgrading roads. Combined with the completion of the Deltaport Third Berth project in January 2010, these improvements could provide a total projected throughput capacity of 2.4 million TEUs at Deltaport.
We are also proposing a new terminal — the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project — in the vicinity of Deltaport that could provide up to 2 million TEUs of additional capacity. For Terminal 2, we have assumed an average annual growth rate of 5% from 2010 to 2030, with plans for a 10-year permitting and construction horizon. Given last year’s strong rebound with 17% growth and record annual volume in container traffic, we are on a critical path to deliver Terminal 2 in time to meet forecasted demand, even with the slower growth rates of 2011 and likely 2012.
To service increased container truck volumes through Deltaport and the proposed Terminal 2, the Government of British Columbia is currently leading the development and construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road. This new, four-lane, 40-kilometre long route along the south side of the Fraser River provides a direct highway between the Port and the region’s industrial core, and provides speedy commercial connections for long haul movements.
We are leading a generational change in infrastructure delivery within our Gateway through our now well-recognized business model of collaboration and participation funding. We are currently involved in 17 separate land-side projects, in four distinct trade areas, scheduled for completion by March 31, 2014. These projects were developed in consultation with port stakeholders and supported by independent analysis.
The total investment from all funding partners in these projects alone is $717 million. Port Metro Vancouver is pre-funding the industry portion and we will recover 90% from industry stakeholders through our Gateway Infrastructure Fee. Most importantly, the fees we collect in our Gateway, stay in our Gateway.
Even so, this was a challenging program to implement with our stakeholders on the heels of a worldwide economic downturn. But it’s a critically important component that contributes to creating an environment where supply chain stakeholders collaborate closely and effectively to deliver benefits to our Gateway.
Together, all funding partners have committed nearly $9 billion specifically to develop the Vancouver Gateway in coming years.
The North Shore Trade Area includes five separate projects that provide critical connections to overseas markets for export products, will enhance rail and port operations, and will add 60% to 80% to the existing rail corridor capacity. The South Shore Trade Area includes two overpasses that will enhance rail, port and trucking operations in Vancouver, and add 50% to the existing rail corridor capacity. The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor includes nine overpass projects along 70 kilometres of track. All nine projects are underway, and will double the existing rail corridor capacity.
Along with our supply chain partners, we are delivering this collaborative generational change in infrastructure as well as dramatically improved performance in the Vancouver Gateway.
Average terminal dwell has consistently registered under three days for more than a year, dropping to a low of two days in July 2011.
This improvement in terminal fluidity has resulted in an overall improvement in the consistency and reliability of the end-to-end Gateway supply chain, benefiting all customers through better predictability of cargo delivery.
Our Gateway’s much-improved intermodal service offering has been gained through rigorous effort, and a commitment to reciprocal accountability between our terminals and our trans-continental railways.
Since speaking with you last year, we have signed port-wide collaboration agreements with both CN and CP. In turn, they have signed service-level agreements with three of the Port’s four container terminals, representing more than 90% of our total container volumes in the Gateway.
The Government of Canada’s Rail Freight Service Review process perhaps initially strained our relationships with the railways, but through unprecedented collaboration and mutual commitment to customer satisfaction, together we have improved reliability and certainty for our commercial users. The results are clear, and our Gateway is being rewarded with additional volumes.
Transit times from discharge in Vancouver to customer pickup inland have also shown significant performance improvement over 20 months. Rail transit has been reduced by 2+ days on key intermodal corridors that Port Metro Vancouver serves, illustrating a trend toward continuous improvement of the end-to-end service provided through the Gateway to key destinations. This demonstrates “what gets measured gets done,” and it underscores the commitment of our supply chain partners to improve the service offering.
Vessel on-time arrival also plays a key role in delivering consistent and reliable service through the Gateway. Late arriving vessels cause on-dock footage to spike above acceptable levels and negatively affect the time it takes for customers to receive cargo. We have measured a trend toward improvement in ship on-time arrival to schedule, even over the Pacific Northwest’s traditionally more challenging winter months.
This commitment to service improvements from our carrier customers supports Vancouver’s leading role in the Canadian trade and provides our US customers with a reliable strategic alternative gateway, complementing our 2-day geographical advantage.
Another area of leadership and collaboration for Port Metro Vancouver continues to be our commitment to and delivery of leading sustainability and environmental initiatives. Our Eco-Action Harbour Dues Program promotes attainable emissions reduction goals and rewards carriers that excel in environmental stewardship. Our award-winning Cruise Ship Shore Power installation registered 35 connections in 2011 and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by thirteen-hundred (1,300) tonnes. We collaborate with the American ports of Seattle and Tacoma on the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy that reduces port-related air quality impacts. Our industry-leading mandatory Truck License System has required opacity testing since 2008, and as of April 2011 we have restricted all trucks 1998 and older unless they are retrofitted to meet our strict environmental standards.
Port Metro Vancouver collaborates with our supply chain partners to deliver on opportunities. We believe that collaboration is the key to meaningful achievement.
We are building corridor capacity now. We have terminal capacity available and further opportunities underway. Our trans-continental railways have East-West capacity available now. And, working together, we have already delivered dramatic improvements in our supply chain performance.
At the World Shipping Summit in 2009 and 2010, I outlined Port Metro Vancouver’s plan and approach to deliver capacity, reliability, consistency and certainty for our customers. Today, I have discussed the progress we have achieved in the Vancouver Gateway, as we work together with our governments, customers, port users and service providers, to deliver on that plan.
We invite you to work with us through ongoing collaboration and engagement to establish the Vancouver Gateway as the most efficient and reliable choice on the west coast of North America to service your transportation and logistics requirements.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, doing business as Port Metro Vancouver.
My name is Craig Neeser, and I am the Chair of the Board of Directors. I will also act as Chair of today’s meeting.
Joining me on the stage today are Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Allan Baydala, Chief Financial Officer.
In a few moments, Mr. Silvester and Mr. Baydala will present a summary of the activities for 2010 for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, doing business as Port Metro Vancouver. First, I will provide an overview of the role of the Board of Directors and introduce each director.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is a non-shareholder, financially self-sufficient corporation, established by the Government of Canada, pursuant to the Canada Marine Act, and accountable to the federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
The Port Authority does not rely on taxpayer funds.
The Board of Directors is able to make independent and timely decisions on business plans and capital spending, clearly focused on the operational needs of port users, and guided by a vision for long-term sustainability and competitiveness.
The Board of Directors consists of 11 members appointed by 3 levels of government. Some of these members are appointed by the Federal government in consultation with the port user-composed Nominating Committee.
The Board is responsible for the stewardship of the Port Authority and has accountability for its overall governance. In overseeing the business of the Port Authority, the Board considers the legitimate interests of employees, customers, stakeholders, communities and all levels of government.
The Board of Directors offers wide-ranging expertise in business and community service, and the Port Authority is fortunate to have access to this depth of knowledge and experience.
As I briefly introduce each of our current directors, I would ask them to stand and to remain standing until all have been introduced. Please hold your applause until all directors have been introduced. You can read the biographical details for each of our Board Members on the Port’s website.
First, Mr. Bob Wilds, our Vice-Chair: Bob is the current Chair of the Board’s Human Resources and Compensation Committee and serves on the Board’s Audit Committee.
Now in alphabetical order:
Ms. Anne Bancroft-Jones: Anne serves on the Board’s Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, as well as the Major Capital Projects Committee.
Mr. Robert Carwell: Bob is a member of the Board’s Audit Committee, and also serves on the Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.
Mr. Philip Hochstein: Phil was appointed to our Board in 2011 and replaces Ms. Sarah Morgan-Silvester whose term expired.
Ms. Pat Jacobsen: Pat is the current Chair of the Board’s Governance/Conduct Committee and also serves on the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
Mr. Eugene Kwan: Eugene serves on the Board’s Governance/Conduct Committee and the Major Capital Projects Committee.
Mr. Tom Longworth: Tom is the current Chair of the Board’s Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, and also serves on the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
Ms. Penny Priddy: Penny was appointed to our Board in 2011 and replaces Ms. Helen Sparks whose term expired.
Ms. Marcella Szel: Marcella is the current Chair of the Board’s Major Capital Projects Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.
Mr. Richard Turner: Richard is the current Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee and a member of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
I also recognize today:
Ms. Sarah Morgan-Silvester, former Chair of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Board of Directors.
Mr. George Adams, former Chair of the Vancouver Port Authority Board of Directors.
Ms. Helen Sparks, former Chair of the Board’s Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee and former member of the Governance/Conduct Committee.
Finally, I am Craig Neeser, current Board Chair, Past Chair of the Major Capital Projects Committee, and current member of the Governance/Conduct Committee.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Board of Directors.
In 2010, Port Metro Vancouver continued to work with governments, industry and community stakeholders to develop sustainable growth solutions, focus on infrastructure development and mitigate environmental impacts.
I thank each Board member who has offered their time and business expertise to guide our business during this exciting year.
I also thank Ms. Sarah Morgan-Silvester for nearly seven years of service as Vancouver Port Authority Board Member, past Chair of the Lower Mainland Port Amalgamation Transition Committee, and as inaugural Chair of the amalgamated Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Sarah provided strong guidance during her tenure and helped to shape the future of Port Metro Vancouver.
And now, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to introduce the President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Robin Silvester, to report on the 2010 activities of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, doing business as Port Metro Vancouver.
Thank you, Craig.
I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our current Chair, Mr. Craig Neeser, our immediate past Chair, Ms. Sarah Morgan-Silvester, and the Members of our Board of Directors, who have provided very valuable counsel over the past year to help us attain our objectives.
Port Metro Vancouver experienced a very successful year in 2010, with marked growth in cargo volumes and unprecedented infrastructure development underway. We are in the process of increasing capable capacity, and collaborating with government and industry partners to fund further development of the Vancouver Gateway, while delivering on our commitment to sustainability. We are already well on our way to a full recovery from the steep downturn of 2008/9.
This afternoon, I am pleased to be able to share with you the highlights of our 2010 results. Further details are listed in our annual report and in our inaugural Sustainability Report. Both documents are available on our website. We also have available this afternoon copies of our full Financials.
Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest and North America’s most diversified port, trading $75 billion in goods with more than 160 trading economies annually.
We manage land, water and assets along more than 600 kilometers of shoreline, bordering on 16 municipalities and intersecting the traditional territories of several First Nations.
In assessing our 2010 results, we acknowledge the performance of the thousands of people in industry, service providers, governments and institutions that have contributed to the Port’s success.
I am grateful to our many customers, tenants and stakeholders for their commitment to leading practices, infrastructure investment and reciprocal accountability that has helped the Port recover in 2010. I must also acknowledge the many dedicated Port Metro Vancouver employees who underpin our success as we work together to achieve meaningful results.
In 2010, Port Metro Vancouver supported marine and transportation infrastructure projects and supply chain initiatives that reflected responsible growth solutions, supported the secure and efficient movement of goods and passengers through the Port, and generated vital economic value for our nation.
In a busy year for Canada’s Pacific Gateway, Port Metro Vancouver achieved record-breaking volumes in key sectors and a total tonnage increase of 16%, delivering 118 million tonnes overall on the year.
The Port’s diversification and focus on the Canadian market allowed Port Metro Vancouver to demonstrate strong recovery following unprecedented worldwide economic difficulty, particularly in comparison to many of the Port’s competitors.
In 2010, Port Metro Vancouver led North American ports in total foreign exports and ranked first among West Coast ports in total cargo tonnage. Total domestic tonnage also increased by 10% from the previous year.
As one of the top three automobile ports on the West Coast, Port Metro Vancouver serves more than a dozen of the world’s top auto manufacturers and receives nearly 100% of all Asian imported vehicles destined for the Canadian market. Volumes remained stable in 2010, shifting down slightly by 1% to 381,000 units.
Breakbulk cargo represented 14% of the Port’s total volume, registering an increase of 15% overall to nearly 17 million tonnes and reflecting a rebound in demand for forest products such as wood pulp and lumber.
In 2010, bulk cargo accounted for 68% of the Port’s total tonnage, with volume up 19% to a record 80 million tonnes. Sector gains reflected sustained growth in Asian economies and strong demand for Canadian commodities. Coal volumes increased by 25% to a record 30 million tonnes, while grain rose 8% overall to a record-setting 16 million tonnes. Fertilizers recorded some of the strongest growth on the year, with potash volumes up 143% to 5.5 million tonnes over 2009.
Container traffic at Port Metro Vancouver set an all-time record in 2010, with 2.5 million TEUs, or twenty-foot-equivalent units, surpassing 2009 volumes by 17%. Increased volumes directly resulted from the continued demand for imported consumer goods. Container exports returned to Asia with forest products and specialty crops.
Port Metro Vancouver also made progress in other important areas.
In 2010, we advanced important work to strengthen the national supply chain through collaboration and participation funding.
I must acknowledge the leadership and vision of our federal and provincial governments in this regard. The Vancouver Gateway is more competitive today because the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia have worked together through the Asia Pacific Gateway strategy.
Governments, industry and Port Metro Vancouver together have committed nearly nine $9 billion dollars specifically to develop the Vancouver Gateway in coming years. The Port has been instrumental in moving these initiatives forward by bringing industry and government to the table, and by stimulating and facilitating the collaboration that underpins the Asia Pacific Gateway strategy.
The Port is currently leading, developing, funding or contributing expertise to land-side projects in three separate trade areas: the North Shore Trade Area, the South Shore Trade Area, and the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor. These projects will provide critical connections to overseas markets, enhance rail and port operations, and improve mobility in communities.
In collaboration with our terminal operator TSI, we delivered the $400 million Deltaport Third Berth in January 2010. Adding a new berth, container storage facilities and the only quad cranes in the Americas has increased Deltaport’s capacity by 50%.
We participated in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as the first official port supplier in Winter Games history. We provided facilities and support, and helped connect the Games to the world with reliable and secure transit of passengers and goods through our Gateway, while minimizing business disruption to port users.
In May, Port Metro Vancouver and CN entered into a port-wide supply chain collaboration agreement that recognizes the importance of balanced, reciprocal accountability for service delivery and improvements.
The 2010 cruise season also marked the first full year of our Canada Place shore power installation that allows cruise ships to connect to the local electrical grid while turning off their diesel engines when docked. This award-winning initiative represents a complex, multi-stakeholder collaboration that has reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 770 cars from the road for a year.
We continued our partnership with the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to address port-related contributions to air quality and climate change in the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound air shed through the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. Our collective efforts have reduced air emissions in key areas such as rail, cargo handling equipment, ocean-going vessels, port administration, harbour craft and trucks.
In addition to our internationally acclaimed environmental initiatives, last year the Port also launched its Blue Circle Award to acknowledge industry commitment to sustainability and recognize shipping lines with the highest emissions reduction achievements.
Port Metro Vancouver takes a proactive role in its communities through a dynamic community relations program and generous community giving initiatives. We work to develop engagement opportunities defined by strong relationships and a shared desire for a sustainable future. Our community engagement approach is based on open, two-way communication and meaningful public participation. We work with industry partners, municipalities and broader communities to raise awareness, build capacity for proactive problem-solving and dialogue, and strive to reach consensus on solutions and future developments.
In 2010, we provided $311,000 through our Community Investment Program to support the education, community enrichment and environmental stewardship aspirations of our communities. Working directly with our port industry partners, we also raised $160,000 at our annual Port Gala to advance community enrichment projects. Through community liaison committees and municipal outreach initiatives, we were able to incorporate community views into operational and project decisions and mitigate the impact of port operations on our communities.
In North Vancouver, as part of the Lynn Creek Bridge and Brooksbank Underpass Project, our upgrades included a grade-separated pedestrian crossing that connected Harbourview Park with the rest of the Lynn Creek corridor, a new lookout with a seating area and the restoration of native trees and shrubs.
We also continued our program to dedicate one percent of our net income to community-based charitable, non-profit, scholarship, donation and sponsorship activities based on education, environment and community enrichment, to support and strengthen the communities in which the Port operates.
The lands and waters managed by Port Metro Vancouver fall within the traditional territories of several individual First Nations and the Coast Salish people. We recognize the historical significance of our Aboriginal neighbours and in 2010 we worked to identify mutually beneficial opportunities for the Port and First Nations in the development of the Vancouver Gateway.
We believe that by working directly with constituents, we will achieve better outcomes for everyone. We are grateful for the opportunity to address interests and identify mutual benefits as we strengthen Canada’s Pacific Gateway.
Mindful of our economic, social and environmental impacts, I am very pleased to announce that today Port Metro Vancouver delivers its first-ever Sustainability Report that evaluates Port programs within an internationally recognized framework called the Global Reporting Initiative. Our Sustainability Report invites scrutiny and comparison with other companies, while highlighting our leading accomplishments.
By setting a benchmark with this first report, we can identify successes and areas for improvement. We believe it also represents an excellent tool to determine the initiatives and programs that are important to our stakeholders and customers, so we can work together to achieve even more.
Highlighting Port Metro Vancouver’s accomplishments and commitments in 2010 reflects the actions we took to deliver appropriate financial, environmental and community investments to maintain and further build on our position as Canada’s Pacific Gateway.
We attribute much of our recent success to collaborative efforts across our economic, social and environmental areas of focus and responsibility. Indeed, we believe that collaboration is Port Metro Vancouver’s core competence and our competitive advantage.
I am excited for the future of our Gateway, as we continue to redefine the role of Port Metro Vancouver to lead operational improvements and optimization, and deliver sustainable solutions for the benefit of communities, stakeholders and our industry partners.
Thank you Robin. Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my pleasure to present to you the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The auditor, KPMG, provided their opinion that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Port Authority as at December 31, 2010 and 2009.
Copies of our consolidated financial statements, including the auditor's opinion, are available from the Port Metro Vancouver website.
And I would like to announce that KPMG has been re-appointed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Board of Directors to undertake the audit for the year 2011.
In 2010, on the record levels of cargo volumes mentioned by Robin, VFPA achieved record operating revenues and net income of $181 million and $73 million dollars respectively.
Our rental income increased by over 25 per cent due largely to the opening of the Deltaport Third Berth in early 2010.
And while we saw scheduled cruise revenues decline significantly, the drop was offset by additional cruise ship revenue earned during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Capital expenditures totalled $56 million in 2010, primarily due to final environmental mitigation work at the Deltaport Third Berth and Infrastructure Stimulus supported projects.
However, in order to enable our commitments to gateway infrastructure development, in April 2010, a 10-year, $100 million rated private placement bond was issued, supported by a Standard & Poor’s AA credit rating – the first by a Canadian Port Authority.
Check against delivery
Leading Generational Change: The Importance of Collaboration
Good afternoon, and thank you Stan for your kind introduction.
We’ve already had an interesting discussion, at our table, about our various port stories. I hope that your port story is similarly positive.
I am extremely pleased to speak with you today, to offer my thoughts on Port Metro Vancouver’s future, and to invite you to consider not only your port story – but also our collective port story. By looking at some of our shared experiences, I hope to highlight how intricately connected we are, and how important it is for us to work together, ever more closely, to write an even better story.
Before we look forward, let’s take a quick look back.
When I spoke to you at this time last year, we found ourselves more than 12 months into a worldwide economic downturn, operating in a fragile business climate and questioning past best practices.
Experts had already declared 2009 the worst year for ocean carriers in the history of containerization. Steamship lines struggled financially, began slow-steaming in earnest to save precious funds, and slashed worldwide capacity by 10 percent.
Warren Buffet had recently unveiled a US$44-billion deal to buy out the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway, declaring his move as "an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States."
At Port Metro Vancouver, overall declines had just begun to slow. Some cargo sectors had even just started to move back to slight positive growth.
As hazy as the horizon appeared just one year ago, I confidently believed that our industry and our economy would inevitably return to growth. We are, after all, a trading nation and we can be confident that economic growth, in the long term, is inevitable.
Well, here we are today. By key economic measures, Canada is performing better than every other G-7 nation. The OECD calls Canada "an economic miracle," forecasting that Canada will have the strongest recovery of all G-7 countries over the next two years.
I see the evidence of this recovery every day when I look out of my window at the activity in Burrard Inlet. As Canada’s most important asset in the growth and prosperity of our Pacific Gateway, Port Metro Vancouver is on the way to recovery, with capacity-building projects underway and delivered, and double-digit volume increases across all our major cargo sectors. We achieved an all time record month in August, and then again in October, for handling containerized cargo through our Port facilities.
But, let’s be realistic. There’s a big gap between "emerging recovery" in the Vancouver Gateway and "delivering generational change" across an entire industry. As we discussed last year, we do need to change the way we understand and operate the entire supply chain, and how we focus on impacts and benefits. This is clear, and I think it’s underway. But, perhaps at least as importantly, we also need to redefine our interaction with, and commitment to, each other and all the related stakeholders in the gateway. We need to understand that the best way to deliver sustainable growth —in business and in our communities — is through collaboration.
Collaboration is the key to meaningful and sustainable achievement.
As I speak to you today about the importance of collaboration, I must first acknowledge the leadership and vision of our federal and provincial governments.
Quite simply, the Vancouver Gateway is more competitive today because the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia have worked together through the Asia Pacific Gateway strategy. Their collaboration has focused valuable attention and resources on the Gateway’s infrastructure development.
Critically, for Port Metro Vancouver and the development of Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway, a strong economy leads to demand for trade growth, which in turn leads to the inevitable growth of the Gateway. Therefore, it is significant that the Government of Canada has specifically committed more than one-billion-dollars since 2006 toward transportation infrastructure development to serve the Asia Pacific Gateway and expand our nation’s trade potential.
The Province of British Columbia's ambitious Pacific Gateway infrastructure development program is also well underway, as part of an overall 22-billion-dollar province-wide set of commitments for Transport Infrastructure.
These public sector investments demonstrate commitment to international trade with important world economies, and resolve to strengthen the prosperity of BC and Canada. This means that each one of us — at work and at home in our communities — will benefit from the economic impact of these collaborative, generational investments.
Our governments also advance international trade initiatives through strategic political and business relationships. I had the pleasure this month of spending time in Asia as a member of the Pacific Gateway Alliance Team on a trade mission, led by the Honourable Shirley Bond, BC’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. Describing the mission, Minister Bond has said: "At business meetings in Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, we heard just how impressed Asian shippers, traders and investors are with our transportation foundation and with our collaborative approach to managing the Pacific Gateway. I am convinced that this Mission will result in more shipping [opportunities and trade] and the economic spin-offs will be felt throughout all of B.C."
Port Metro Vancouver is a major funding partner, along with governments and private industry, in many initiatives that will accommodate future growth, improve efficiencies and increase the Gateway’s competitive advantage. Together, we have committed nearly nine billion dollars specifically to develop the Vancouver Gateway in coming years. The Port has been instrumental in moving these initiatives forward by bringing industry and government to the table, and by stimulating and facilitating the collaboration that underpins the Asia Pacific Gateway strategy.
This alignment of industry and government goals, through collaboration and participation funding, is now a recognized business model that has drawn considerable attention from other North American gateways.
This is important, because collaboration is not about travelling together, or pasting a bunch of logos on the same page in a trade publication. To me, collaboration must reflect three critical elements:
Number 1: Collaborative strategy development. This is the building block, the creation of a common vision, the foundation upon which we build commitment, trust and accountability. The time of thinking and acting individually has long since passed.
Number 2: Joint investment. Collaborative financial commitment to the joint strategy is the means by which we execute our strategic vision, and investing jointly solidifies mutual commitment and leverages each individual investment many times over.
And, Number 3: Collaboration in operational measurement and improvement. When we define and refine mutual benchmarks and expectations, together we fulfil our commitment to reciprocal accountability and we maximise the operational and thus commercial and economic benefits of the investments that every partner has contributed.
Having advanced these three critical elements of collaboration, we can then offer an option for customers, a truly integrated reality, and not just promotional repackaging.
I propose to you that the new and powerful value proposition for the Vancouver Gateway is this: By collaborating and completely aligning — even integrating — our business objectives and outcomes, we can leverage our individual investments, better mitigate risks, more dependably deliver the reliability and consistency that our customers demand, and deliver the socio-economic and environmental benefits that our communities deserve. We can accomplish these many goals while also generating the largest economic return for every dollar invested in any Canadian Gateway. These are the realities, and the real strengths of the Vancouver Gateway.
If we take this discussion just one step further, I suggest to you that the core competence of Port Metro Vancouver, as an organisation, is and has to be "collaboration." We are most successful when we orchestrate collaborative outcomes. We are uniquely placed to do this as an organisation at the heart of the Vancouver Gateway that does not compete commercially with other partners within the gateway, that has credibility, access to Governments, financial means (within reason) and a uniquely holistic view of the Gateway system. It’s a fresh, new — collaborative — story.
And we know it resonates with our customers. During the trade mission, I was in the head office of one of our shipping line customers in Asia. Here’s what they told me: "Lots of ports visit us and talk about being landlords, or about leasing land. That's the easy part. You are talking to us about issues that matter — about aggressively driving change through the supply chain and delivering improvement on longstanding issues. That's different. It’s very good."
Port Metro Vancouver is writing a new story. As the product of an unprecedented port amalgamation, we have transformed ourselves from a single link in the supply chain to a driving force in delivering and leveraging supply chain value for industry, communities and our nation.
We act as a relentless catalyst for vital infrastructure investment in the Vancouver Gateway. We focus on increasing supply chain measurement and reliability by integrating, influencing and leading new operating practices. We invest and participate in network development and optimisation, while navigating intense competition, shifting trade patterns, uncertain economic conditions, and changing community expectations.
Here’s the key: we’re not doing it alone. Let me talk through just a few examples.
In collaboration with our terminal operator TSI, we delivered the 400-million-dollar Deltaport Third Berth in January. Adding a berth and three new quad cranes has increased Deltaport’s capacity by more than 40 per cent.
Two private sector bulk terminals at the Port — Neptune in North Vancouver and Westshore in South Delta — are investing $100 million in their facilities to expand capacity to accommodate current volumes and future growth.
These three upgrades alone will powerfully service our Gateway and amplify economic impact throughout our region. Other terminals are also embarking on or completing substantial capital investment programs.
In May, Port Metro Vancouver and CN entered into a supply chain collaboration agreement to drive further efficiencies at the port and recognize the importance of balanced, reciprocal accountability for service delivery and improvements. We believe this is a meaningful agreement and a signal of a new phase of collaboration, and we are working on a similar agreement with CP. CN and CP have also both entered into level-of-service agreements with several individual terminal operators in the past six months. This is a tremendously encouraging operational shift away from previously longstanding business practices towards a new, more collaborative and effective approach.
These level-of-service agreements are already starting to improve gateway performance and will further multiply the gains from the 17 separate land-side projects scheduled for completion in the Vancouver Gateway within the next four years. In the spirit of collaboration – and, more importantly, in the practice of collaboration – every one of these projects will leverage public and private investment in our Gateway.
Along with our terminal operators, we expect commercial viability, demand operational efficiency and boost Gateway competitiveness.
We also work hand-in-hand, collaboratively, with our host communities to provide amenities and lasting community legacies as a positive result of inevitable port development.
For instance, as an important component of the Deltaport Third Berth project, we invested 25-million-dollars in environmental compensation and long-term monitoring, and also contributed two-million-dollars to the Corporation of Delta as part of the Project Amenities Fund.
We formed the Deltaport Third Berth Project Community Liaison Committee (DCLC) in March 2007 to work with the Port and industry to identify community concerns and recommend potential solutions related to the construction and first-year operation of the DP3 project. The committee of 18 individuals represents residents, community organizations, the Corporation of Delta, Tsawwassen First Nation and port stakeholders. Committee members have dedicated hundreds of hours to reach out to the broader community to share information and bring community concerns and suggestions back to the Port.
Quite simply, this collaboration resulted in a more successful project. By working together, we were better able to understand community issues and take a more proactive approach to addressing them. A similar committee now operates in North Vancouver.
I am glad to be able to tell you that Delta Mayor Lois Jackson has stated she believes the DCLC was an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and information, and is pleased that it’s being used as a model for the South Fraser Perimeter Road Community Liaison Committee. As we begin the process of defining the next phase of port expansion at Roberts Bank, community collaboration is top of mind. So, most assuredly, the 18 dedicated community advocates on the liaison committee have written a new port story.
Another example of community and stakeholder collaboration is happening right now in North Vancouver as part of the 244-million-dollar North Shore Trade Area. This project is an unprecedented collaboration among governments and industry to enable growth in international trade, improve the safety and efficiency of road and rail traffic on the North Shore, and enhance the quality of life of neighbouring communities. It’s an excellent example of interconnectedness and collaboration, so I’m going to talk through a few of the details.
The North Shore is a critical corridor for Canadian trade and of particular importance to the Port, handling one-fifth of the Port’s total cargo volume. This trade accounts for more than 5,000 direct jobs on the North Shore and $660 million in wages each year. North Shore terminals contribute as much as $10 million to municipal tax revenues. This is interconnectedness.
The Lynn Creek Bridge and Brooksbank Avenue Underpass project is the first of five projects in this Trade Area. The myriad of components and deliverables include construction of a new rail bridge over Lynn Creek, expansion of the existing Brooksbank underpass, grade-separating a pedestrian crossing to provide public trail connectivity, and relocating public access for Harbourview Park.
This is a highly complex undertaking involving stimulus funding, major commitments and contributions from multiple partners, and even a land exchange with the District. This is collaboration.
As Lead Delivery agent for this project, we are proud that it was the first of the Gateway and Corridor projects to enter the construction phase and we are very pleased at how warmly the project has been received by industry, government and the public. We are quite certain that everyone involved has a new port story to tell.
Our involvement with communities and our steadfast commitment to mitigate the inevitable impacts of port growth has emerged as a leadership opportunity for our Port – one on which we continue to deliver, to international recognition and acclaim.
We’re working with customers and industry stakeholders to achieve reduced air emissions and a smaller carbon footprint. Our EcoAction Program for Shipping offers financial incentives for shipping lines that reduce emissions. Vessels that qualify are eligible to receive the Port’s new Blue Circle Award — reserved for only the highest emissions reduction achievements.
The 2010 cruise season also marked the first full year of our shore power installation that allows cruise ships to connect to the local electrical grid while turning off their diesel engines when docked. This award-winning initiative represents a complex, nine-million-dollar, multi-stakeholder collaboration that has reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 770 cars from the road for a year.
These many and varied examples – from major marine cargo terminal development to neighbourhood walkways – show clearly that we have moved beyond making a case for major investment , to tackling the better challenge of delivering on that investment, to the benefit of industry and communities.
But, I believe that delivering generational change is more than securing unprecedented investment, or building road and rail connections to smooth goods movement, or delivering successful international trade missions.
Our new challenge moving forward will be continuing the momentum. I believe that collaboration with industry and communities is the force that we need to continue our momentum.
I have talked through several excellent examples of the spirit and practice of collaboration in our Gateway. I do believe we are much better off today, on this front, than we ever have been in the past. However — and it is a "big however" — allow me to point out a few areas where I believe we still need to produce better, more focused, and more effective effort. These are in the areas of reliability, national transportation strategy, and deeper community engagement.
Let me begin with Labour. Everyone in the Lower Mainland — and certainly everyone in this room — knows someone whose job relies on the Port functioning. It’s a cliché but also a truism - in a world of just-in-time transportation, reliability is king. As I can indisputably declare to you following my recent trade mission to Asia, our international customers — while they see some positive changes starting to emerge — still view Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway as unreliable.
Let me speak very plainly. If we don’t improve our reputation with regard to reliability, we won’t realize the full benefit of the billions of dollars in infrastructure, marketing investment, and commitment to collaboration being made by businesses and governments throughout Canada.
For instance, as we have seen this year with the protracted, and ongoing, labour negotiations between the BCMEA and the ILWU, any labour uncertainly threatens the Port’s reputation as reliable, damages the international trade reputation of the country, undermines the value of continuing investments in expanding trade, and jeopardizes the potential for future private investment.
Our Gateway recovery is just beginning, and will still take some time; yet, critically, we are not out of the woods with this negotiation. How can we possibly jeopardise our collective recovery during this fragile time? Ultimately, reliability is essential, and it is reliability that rewards our shareholders, port users, stakeholders and communities, through proper asset utilization and economic growth.
I also see the Rail Freight Service Review as an excellent vehicle which is providing much greater focus on broad industry collaboration toward improved Gateway reliability.
Port Metro Vancouver fully supports the Review and is taking an active role in the process. The Panel’s interim recommendations are closely aligned with the Port’s recommendations for a largely commercial approach to defining, monitoring and enforcing rail service matters. The Port’s concept of reciprocal accountability for all supply chain participants, including terminal operators, was mentioned several times in the Interim Report.
The Port also recommended a two-phased approach, which would afford the railways a number of years to implement service changes and negotiate commercial arrangements, postponing action to establish a new regulatory regime until new, commercially focused solutions have been allowed sufficient time to deliver — or fail to deliver — the required service improvements. We see regulation as a blunt instrument: a last resort, necessary in the event that commercial solutions fail to deliver. We also recommended greater involvement of the railways, terminal operators, and other stakeholders in overall supply chain management. The Panel endorsed these recommendations too.
Separate from the Review, we are very encouraged to see the railways put significant focus on establishing new, and unprecedented, collaboration agreements and supply chain agreements. CN explicitly relies on collaboration as a key component of their new business approach.
To manage these new collaborative expectations, we have recently struck a Supply Chain Performance Executive Committee comprised of senior executives of the Port, CN, and key supply chain stakeholders, which will develop benchmarks, change behaviour and drive accountability.
The next area that would benefit from improved collaboration is the development and implementation of a National Transportation Policy. Our nation requires a long-term strategy and predictable framework to guide transportation policy decisions and merit-based infrastructure investments. This policy is needed to guide transportation decisions across all government departments, and must be developed in collaboration with industry. A National Transportation Policy would continue to advance Canada’s competitiveness and further contribute to the success of the Asia Pacific Gateway and other major Gateways within Canada.
We also have more work to do in collaboration with our communities and their leaders. While economic activity brings benefits such as jobs and amenities, it also generates impacts: traffic congestion, air emissions, noise. Moving forward, how do we enable economic activity while addressing the inevitable consequences? We continue to work closely with all levels of government, develop leading environmental programs that combine innovative mitigation initiatives and excellence in environmental stewardship, and focus on community and aboriginal engagement.
We must recognise that, across our entire spectrum of public and industry engagement, we are interconnected. Collaboration indeed is the key to meaningful and sustainable achievement.
As we lead generational change in the Gateway and write our new story, at Port Metro Vancouver we see our role quite clearly. We advocate for improvement; collaborate with our supply chain partners; invest in the network; deliver on our Gateway’s spectacular potential; leverage infrastructure development; engage our stakeholders, governments and communities; inspire confidence; and, lead the Vancouver Gateway to world-class status.
We believe this approach has already strongly contributed to Vancouver’s excellent trade position within the Asia Pacific region, and provided tangible and sustainable benefits within our neighbouring communities.
With the continued support of our long-standing customers, commercial users and transportation service providers, we’re building collaborative partnerships to optimize port operations, support information transparency and emphasize reciprocal accountability.
With a shared commitment to sustainable solutions, we’re striving to develop solid relationships at the local government level to help us identify common values, reveal sustainable legacies, and mitigate community impacts.
I believe that this is an excellent start.
Ladies and gentlemen, I began today by asking you about your port story. As you have hopefully already concluded, our shared experiences reveal that we’re already part of each other’s story, and we are integral to each other’s success.
Therefore, if I could leave you with one parting thought, it would be this:
How would a more inclusive, more accountable, more transparent understanding of each other contribute to a better story? I suggest to you that a much more complete understanding of each other is, in fact, the source of the value of collaboration.
I urge you to reinforce our interconnectedness and commit to collaboration. Together, we can drive operational improvement and optimisation, and deliver sustainable solutions to everyone with a stake in this Gateway.
Now, wouldn't that be a great story to read to the next generation.
I thank you for your kind attention.
The Evolving Role of Port Authorities
Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen: Good afternoon.
My name is Robin Silvester, and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s largest and most diversified port. On behalf of our Board and Executive Leadership Team, I offer my congratulations to the conference organizers for hosting this important international summit and I thank you for inviting me to participate, along with my esteemed colleagues.
I am particularly pleased to join you in Guangzhou, because although I’ve visited China many times I’ve not previously had the chance to visit this manufacturing powerhouse in the Pearl River area.
To Port Metro Vancouver’s many customers here this afternoon: I thank you for your business and continued confidence in the Metro Vancouver Gateway. We understand that your business decisions directly influence our success. We value the continued loyalty of our customers, and we recognize the significance of the solid, long term relationships we have built together.
Today I am going to discuss the changing role of port authorities. In particular, I will discuss the importance of collaboration to Port Metro Vancouver’s transformation, from a single link in the supply chain, to a driving force in delivering and leveraging supply chain value for industry, communities and our nation.
Last year when I spoke to you at this conference in Qingdao, I said that the quality of our relationships – on every level – will help to guide the resurgence of our industry. I said that Port Metro Vancouver would emerge from the worldwide economic crisis, even stronger, because we had ambitious, but clearly defined, expectations; solid relationships to uphold them; and confidence that we were well-placed for the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that future is here. Port Metro Vancouver remains Canada’s most important asset in the growth and prosperity of our Pacific Gateway. We are well on our way to recovery, with capacity-building projects underway and delivered, and double-digit volume increases across all our major cargo sectors.
As I speak to you today about the value of collaboration, I must first acknowledge the leadership and vision of our federal and provincial governments.
Quite simply, the Vancouver Gateway is more competitive today because the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia have worked together through the Asia-Pacific Gateway strategy. Their collaboration has focused valuable attention and resources on the Gateway’s infrastructure development.
To understand the significance of this strategy for businesses and users of our world class supply chains, allow me to share with you some facts about Canada’s fiscal, banking and tax advantages.
The World Economic Forum has ranked Canada’s banking system as the soundest in the world for two consecutive years. As the result of sound policies and fiscal management, Canada is now well on its way to emerging from the recession, and is emerging one of the strongest economies in the industrialized world. By key measures such as job creation, economic growth, stability of our financial sector, and relatively low public debt, Canada is performing better than all of the other G-7 nations.
The Government of Canada is also strengthening Canada’s business tax advantage to support investment, job creation and growth in all sectors of the economy. This year, Canada will have the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment among G-7 nations. Canada’s tax advantage will grow as business tax rates continue to fall through 2012.
Therefore, both the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development expect that Canada will have the strongest economic recovery of all G-7 countries over the next two years.
Critically, for Port Metro Vancouver and the development of Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway, in addition to advancing sound fiscal and stimulus policy, the Government of Canada has specifically committed more than one billion dollars since 2006 toward transportation infrastructure development to serve the Asia Pacific Gateway, in the interest of expanding our nation’s trade potential.
Our government also advances international trade initiatives by building and maintaining strategic political and business relationships. For instance, this year, we are pleased to welcome to the World Shipping Summit the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure for the Province of British Columbia. Minister Bond has led the delivery of Columbia's ambitious three-billion-dollar Pacific Gateway infrastructure development program throughout our province, as part of a $22bn Transport Infrastructure commitment Province wide. Her participation in this Summit demonstrates the Government of British Columbia's understanding of, and commitment to, international trade relations with important world economies, and resolve to strengthen the growth and prosperity of British Columbia and Canada.
Port Metro Vancouver is a major funding partner, along with the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and with private industry, in many initiatives that will accommodate future growth, improve efficiencies and increase the Vancouver Gateway’s competitive advantage. Together with the Port, our industry and governments have committed nearly nine billion dollars to develop the Vancouver Gateway in coming years. Port Metro Vancouver has been instrumental in moving these initiatives forward by bringing industry and government to the table, and by stimulating and facilitating the collaboration that underpins the Asia Pacific Gateway strategy.
Let me be clear. Our governments still promote trade and stimulate our economy by carrying out their traditional role of developing public infrastructure. Private industry still invests substantially in market-driven ventures because it recognises the opportunities created by collaborative infrastructure development and the projected growth of the Canadian economy, and takes confidence from Canada’s stable investment environment. And the Port still facilitates international trade. But, there is an emerging and even stronger value proposition for the Vancouver Gateway: by collaborating and aligning our business objectives and outcomes, we can leverage our individual investments, better mitigate any risks, and more dependably deliver the reliability and consistency that our customers demand and deserve. We can accomplish these goals while also generating the largest economic return for every dollar invested in any Canadian Gateway. These are the realities, and the real strengths of the Vancouver Gateway.
I can also tell you that each of the industry and government participants that have invested over time in the Vancouver Gateway has experienced a significant evolution in either focus or practice in the past five years. Port Metro Vancouver is no exception.
Before the 1990’s, the Port carried out its role of building and operating marine infrastructure. We provided all the equipment, and we operated the terminal. We responded to moderate growth in traditionally defined, resource-based commodity sectors. We enjoyed excess capacity and limited port competition. We interacted with communities mostly during project development.
Throughout the 1990’s, the Port reassessed this traditional “operating port” model. We stepped away from building and operating our own terminals and chose instead to work in partnership with international terminal operators, and bulk commodity shippers, under long term leases. We enjoyed exceptionally strong demand in all business sectors, and further developed emerging business sectors such as cruise. We experienced growing port competition in response to North American west coast container capacity constraints and congestion challenges. Our involvement with communities and our commitment to mitigate the inevitable impacts of port growth emerged as a leadership opportunity for our Port – one on which we have delivered, to international recognition and acclaim.
In the past five years, Port Metro Vancouver has carved-out a new, non-traditional port model. We are the product of an unprecedented port amalgamation to create a single Port Authority for the entire Vancouver Metropolitan area – Canada’s fastest growing, and most cosmopolitan metro area.
We also act as a relentless catalyst for vital infrastructure investment in the Vancouver Gateway.
Today, we focus on increasing supply chain measurement and reliability by integrating, influencing and leading new operating practices. We invest and participate in network development and optimisation, while navigating intense competition, shifting trade patterns and uncertain economic conditions.
We expect commercial viability, demand operational efficiency and boost Gateway competitiveness. And, we work hand-in-hand — collaborate — with our host communities – not only to mitigate port impacts, but to identify opportunities to provide amenities and lasting community legacies as a positive result of inevitable port development.
Port Metro Vancouver is similarly committed to working with its customers and industry stakeholders to achieve reduced air emissions and a smaller carbon footprint. Our EcoAction Program for Shipping is a unique way of stimulating environmental collaboration: encouraging cleaner ships to our gateway by offering financial incentives for shipping lines that reduce emissions of their ocean-going vessels, and recognising our partners’ achievements and collaboration. Under the EcoAction Program for Shipping, vessels that qualify are eligible to receive Port Metro Vancouver’s new Blue Circle Award. The Award acknowledges industry commitment to Port sustainability and this recognition is reserved for only the highest emissions reduction achievements. This program supports our goal of long-term sustainability and benefits industry and communities.
Like every other port in the world, we are still fundamentally in the business of growing volume. But our focus has shifted from developing local marine infrastructure to enabling global logistics in a sustainable way. We have transformed ourselves from a single link in the supply chain to a driving force in delivering and leveraging supply chain value for industry, communities and our nation.
Many of our industry partners, terminal operators and service providers have also shifted their business imperatives to reflect leading practices and redefined strategic priorities. For instance, in May, Port Metro Vancouver and CN Rail entered into a supply chain collaboration agreement to drive further efficiencies at the port and recognize the importance of balanced, reciprocal accountability for service delivery and service improvements. CN Rail and CP Rail have both entered into level-of-service agreements with several individual terminal operators in the past six months.
These level-of-service agreements will further multiply the gains from the 17 separate land-side projects scheduled for completion in the Vancouver Gateway within the next four years. In the spirit of collaboration – and, more importantly, in the practice of collaboration – every one of these projects will leverage public and private investment in our Gateway, to eliminate road and rail bottlenecks, to increase fluidity, and to speed goods to market. The total investment from all funding partners in these projects alone is more than 700 million dollars. Port Metro Vancouver itself has invested more than 400 million dollars in the Vancouver Gateway in the last three years.
So, while we continue to develop the essential infrastructure and supply chain ingredients for the efficient transport of goods through our Gateway, we understand that this strategy will only be as effective as the foundations upon which we build it: collaboration, commitment and reciprocal accountability.
Taking this approach into consideration, at Port Metro Vancouver, we see our role quite clearly. We advocate for improvement; collaborate with our supply chain partners; invest in the network; deliver on our Gateway’s spectacular potential; leverage infrastructure development; engage our stakeholders, governments and communities; inspire confidence; and, lead the Vancouver Gateway to world-class status.
We believe this collaborative approach has strongly contributed to Vancouver’s excellent trade position within the Asia Pacific region.
And, we look forward with great excitement to the future of our Gateway, as we continue to redefine the role of Port Metro Vancouver as a driving force in delivering and leveraging supply chain value for industry, communities and our nation.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Ladies and gentlemen: Good afternoon and welcome to the Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
My name is Sarah Morgan-Silvester and I am honoured to be Chair of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Board of Directors and chair of today’s meeting. Joining me on the stage today are Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Allan Baydala, Chief Financial Officer. They will be presenting a summary of Port activities during 2009.
Reflecting back on the past year and as you will hear from Robin and Allan, 2009 was enormously busy for Port Metro Vancouver. In a year of worldwide economic difficulties, which had a significant effect on global trade, our Port maintained its leadership position as Canada’s gateway to the world’s most dynamic economies.
I believe that Port Metro Vancouver dealt capably with ongoing economic challenges. We focused on our broader mandate to build for the future with sustainable growth initiatives, in cooperation with all levels of government, and with the commitment of our industry partners.
In 2009, we worked hard to meet the challenges of building a better port. Planned capital investments by the Port Authority and our tenants over the next several years will continue to strengthen our economy and serve the trade and industry requirements of our region and nation. We also helped to connect the Games to the world in 2009 as we prepared for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As an Official Supplier, Port Metro Vancouver provided facilities and support to welcome the world for a highly successful Winter Games. Our critical role in the Games is a reminder of the even larger role the Port plays in the economy of British Columbia and Canada.
Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest and North America’s most diversified port, generating $22 billion in economic output annually. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to acknowledge and thank Port Metro Vancouver’s executive team and all staff for their hard work. The Port’s success is a direct reflection of their efforts and they are sincerely appreciated.
As in any business, good people make all the difference. I would also like to congratulate Robin Silvester, in his first year as the Port Authority’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Robin’s knowledge and experience have been valuable in a challenging year, providing leadership to bring about a generational change in our industry.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the operation and development of the assets and jurisdiction of Port Metro Vancouver. It is a non-shareholder, financially self-sufficient corporation, established by the Government of Canada. We abide by the Canada Marine Act and are accountable to the federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Governed by a diverse, eleven member Board of Directors appointed by government and industry, the Port Authority is able to make independent and timely decisions on business plans and capital spending, clearly focused on the operational needs of customers and stakeholders, and guided by a vision for long-term sustainability and competitiveness.
We are very fortunate to have available to us a wealth of experience and knowledge that our directors bring to the Board table and apply to strategic planning, consideration of issues, and decision-making. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce each of our current directors, I would ask them to stand and to remain standing until all have been introduced. Background information on each director can be found on the Port Metro Vancouver website:
Anne Bancroft-Jones; Robert Carwell; Helen Sparkes; Pat Jacobsen; Eugene Kwan; Tom Longworth; Craig Neeser; Rick Turner; Bob Wilds; John Willcox, the Vice Chair of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
Ladies and gentlemen, Board of Directors of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority: I would like to extend my appreciation to all of my fellow board members for their dedication, time and expertise in leading the Port.
And finally, I would like to thank past directors Doug Butterworth, Andy Johnston, Trevor Klassen, and Jack Matthews for their service on the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority board in 2009. As Port Metro Vancouver, we have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the sustainable success of this gateway for the benefit of our communities, our province and our nation. Thank you.
I would now like to invite Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, to say a few words
Thank you, Sarah.
Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today as we present the 2009 activities of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, doing business as Port Metro Vancouver.
Port Metro Vancouver operates North America’s most diversified port, and the fourth largest tonnage port on the continent.
We manage 1000 hectares (2500 acres) of land, 16,000 hectares (40,000 acres) of water, and assets along more than 600 kilometers of shoreline.
We operate in three distinct geographical areas – Burrard Inlet, the Fraser River and, Roberts Bank – bordering on 16 separate municipalities.
The Port is broadly focused on:
• providing and improving service to our customers, stakeholders, tenants and port users;
• developing an integrated approach to land use and acquisition;
• identifying and contributing to strategic infrastructure investments and transportation planning initiatives; and
• championing port and community sustainability initiatives across our jurisdiction.
The Port itself also serves as a major economic generator for our region, province and nation, trading $75 billion in goods annually with more than 160 trading economies, and generating across Canada an estimated 129,000 jobs, $6 billion in wages, and $10 billion in GDP.
Following a challenging 2009, I’m pleased to report that Port Metro Vancouver demonstrated continued resiliency. In spite of the year’s worldwide economic constraints, we met significant milestones as we delivered on planned infrastructure investments, strengthened community partnerships, and finalized plans to successfully welcome the world for the 2010 Winter Games.
In 2009, overall tonnage reached nearly 102 million metric tonnes, down 11% from 2008. The Port’s high degree of diversification and solid overseas demand for high quality Canadian commodities reinforced Port Metro Vancouver’s value as Canada’s most important gateway to international trade.
Reviewing by business sector, automobiles shipped through Port Metro Vancouver decreased by 15% in 2009 to 387,000 units and reflected the declining trend for vehicle sales in North America.
Breakbulk experienced the year’s most significant sector decline, down 28%, to 15 million metric tonnes. A variety of factors connected to the economic downturn accounted for the decline.
Bulk cargo results were mixed, depending on the various dry or liquid bulk commodities, but total volume declined 8% to 68 million metric tonnes.
Overall container volume through the Port decreased nearly 14% and settled at 2.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units for the year. The economic downturn and erosion of consumer confidence in 2009 initially led to a decline in laden container imports, while we experienced stable demand for containerized exports of forest products and specialty crops. Overall, the container sector finished the year with a marked gain in the second half.
Vancouver welcomed 37 cruise ships in 2009, for a total of 257 calls. Passenger volumes increased 5% to 898,000 revenue passengers, contrary to the downturn experienced in other areas of the tourism industry. Port Metro Vancouver was also pleased to be named the first Canadian port for Disney Cruise Line, as the Disney Wonder will homeport in Vancouver for Alaska cruises in 2011.
Moving to organizational efficiencies, in 2009 I announced a new organizational structure and a more streamlined Executive Team, to deliver Port Metro Vancouver’s strategic priorities and continue to develop the port as a key component of one of North America's leading gateways.
Following a review of service delivery to stakeholders and tenants, we closed our New Westminster corporate office after we determined that Port Metro Vancouver could provide the same or better service to its Fraser River customers from the Vancouver office. This helped to realize business efficiencies, reduced the need for employees to travel between sites, and facilitated the sub-lease of the office. We remain committed to providing superior customer service to our tenants and to supporting our communities along the Fraser River.
In recent years within the Metro Vancouver Gateway, we have experienced unprecedented public and private investment. Industry stakeholders and government have committed to spend nearly $9 billion in coming years to develop the Gateway. Our collaborative, strategic and financial partnership demonstrates our collective commitment to investing in long term infrastructure that commercial users need, while securing jobs and providing economic value for communities.
In 2009, we continued to develop and plan for capacity expansion and completed work on the Deltaport Third Berth that opened in January 2010. Deltaport’s three new quad cranes — a first for North and South America — will help the terminal achieve an estimated 40% increase in handling capacity.
Also last year, the federal government contributed $21 million toward 14 Port Metro Vancouver infrastructure projects under the Government of Canada's Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The Port’s matching contribution leverages the total investment in these projects to $42 million. One of the projects – an Integrated Port Operations Center —will act as a round-the-clock center for providing integrated service to key port stakeholders, terminal operators, regulatory agencies and marine/road/and rail traffic, within one location.
In October, Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended our Port to announce funding to enhance Vancouver's South Shore Trade Area. The Federal Government, along with Port Metro Vancouver, the City of Vancouver, Canadian Pacific and CN have committed $125 million to fund infrastructure projects that will support increased cargo volumes and economic development throughout the region. Prime Minister Harper underscored the value of the Port’s contribution to Canada when he said, “the lifeblood of our economy flows through the heart of Port Metro Vancouver, and the Gateway Initiative is making that heart beat stronger than ever.”
We continue to recognize the Government of Canada for their vision, insight and exceptional commitment to serve the nation's international trade requirements through this leading Gateway.
With security measures that meet or exceed North American standards, Port Metro Vancouver has a well-earned reputation for port security leadership and offers a secure, safe and dependable place to do business.
In February 2010, the Metro Vancouver port community drew upon this excellent reputation and extensive expertise to play an integral role in hosting the world at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. While the Games took place this year, our operations work dates back many years to our involvement with the team that prepared the Vancouver 2010 Bid. I’d like to offer my most sincere congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in the planning and execution of this monumental undertaking. We are very proud that port operations continued secure and materially uninterrupted during Games-time.
While we need to leverage our investments in infrastructure upgrades as we look to expand our nation’s international competitiveness, we must also continue our ongoing engagement with host communities and develop sustainable and environmentally conscious growth strategies.
As we build and invest, we need to recognize the inevitable impacts of growth and construction on the quality of life of local residents. Shorter term negatives -- like noise, pollution and traffic congestion – can encourage community resistance to infrastructure enhancements that will, ultimately, deliver long-term benefits such as reduced emissions, decreased bottlenecks, and better public transportation. To be sustainable, we must mitigate these impacts and offer appropriate community involvement and investment wherever possible.
For instance, through the work of the Deltaport Third Berth Project Community Liaison Committee and the North Shore Waterfront Liaison Committee, we are able to identify community concerns, identify and mitigate port impacts, and improve community amenities.
In 2009, we also advanced relationships with our 16 host municipalities, as we continued to discuss issues of mutual concern including impacts, amenities and taxation.
Port Metro Vancouver signed a Protocol Agreement with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in 2009, to formalize the cooperative relationship between the Nation and the Port. The signing is the culmination of more than a decade of effort and offers an example of collaboration in action. We believe the agreement will bring significant benefits to the Tsleil-Waututh and our Port, and help to guide our work to reach similar agreements with other First Nations whose traditional territories include Port Metro Vancouver.
We are also working with the Tsawwassen First Nation to implement a joint venture investment fund that will maximize the return on other Gateway investments. In June 2009, we were pleased to hear Chief Kim Baird say at a conference that when she looks out of her office window across the water toward the Port, she sees a partner.
We are hopeful that our continued engagement with host communities and First Nations will help us to find common ground and shared opportunity.
With respect to our community investment program, in 2009 we helped to raise $130,000 at the Tenth Annual Port Fundraising Gala, along with DP World, TSI Terminal Systems Inc., and Western Stevedoring. These funds benefited Grandview Elementary School, Harvest Project and Mission Possible. Since 1999, through the Gala, the Port community has helped to raise more than $620,000, providing funds for much-needed programs and services.
Port Metro Vancouver continues to dedicate up to one per cent of net income to initiatives like the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s conservation efforts and the Carnegie Centre’s Heart of the City Festival benefiting Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
In 2009, the Port also launched the Local Channel Dredging Contribution Program that provides up to $7 million over 10 years for long-term, community-based dredging plans. We are the first port authority in Canada to provide non-required funding contributions for local communities with waterways falling outside the main domestic and international shipping channels.
In addition to innovative community-based solutions, we are leading the way for other ports to address environmental concerns by using technologies and promoting operational efficiencies and project solutions to reduce environmental impacts. In March, Port Metro Vancouver was selected as the 2010 recipient of the GLOBE ecoFREIGHT Transportation Award for our role in addressing the impact of freight transportation on the environment. The 2010 Sustainable Shipping Awards has also nominated the Port for their own program, in the “Clean Air Award” category, which will be decided next week in London, England.
In 2009, Port Metro Vancouver began construction of the East Causeway Habitat Compensation Project as part of the Deltaport Third Berth project. The compensation project creates new fish and wildlife habitat and creates barrier islands, stone erosion barriers, salt marsh, upland vegetation areas, and gravel and cobble beaches. Roberts Bank is an ecologically important area and we believe the compensation project will help to increase its biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
Also in 2009, Port Metro Vancouver became the first port in Canada to install and commission shore power for cruise ships, which allows equipped ships to shut down their diesel engines and connect to the shore-based electrical grid while docked. The precedent-setting environmental initiative at Canada Place is the result of a $9-million cooperative initiative among the Government of Canada, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, BC Hydro and Port Metro Vancouver.
The Port’s industry-leading trucking initiatives, including mandatory age restrictions, also help reduce air emissions and traffic congestion, and improve safety. All licensed trucks must be 1994 or newer and comply with the Port’s strict environmental emission standards.
All these intertwined economic, social and environmental initiatives powerfully contribute to our capacity, competency and capability to serve industry and communities, as we work to grow our business for the benefit of all Canadians.
Looking forward, for this year and beyond, and in addition to the funding I previously noted, in 2010 the Port and our government and industry partners also committed to the $307-million Roberts Bank Rail Corridor Initiative and the $283-million North Shore Trade Area. These projects include grade separations to enhance rail, port and trucking operations, mitigate impacts from port-related activities on neighbouring communities, and smooth traffic and cargo flow.
Port Metro Vancouver has developed a Gateway Infrastructure Program to deliver investment in supply chain improvements like these, which are beyond traditional port activities and lands. By pre-funding the industry’s share of these projects, we have secured $3 million from other agencies for every $1 million that industry stakeholders will invest. We are consulting with industry stakeholders to develop a fair and equitable mechanism to recover the costs.
Along with the Burrard Inlet and Roberts Bank, we are looking at the Fraser River with fresh eyes. The Fraser River is a national asset similar in size and economic impact to the St. Lawrence Seaway. We need to protect this asset economically, environmentally and socially, and leverage its potential as we anticipate future improvements for the Fraser River Trade Area.
While we develop the essential infrastructure and supply chain ingredients for the secure, efficient and environmentally-responsible transport of goods and passengers, we also continue to concentrate substantial effort in three other areas of critical business importance to our Gateway: land, labour and rail performance.
With respect to land, in the Lower Mainland, with a rapidly growing urban population, all users of land face competitive pressures. Availability of industrial land to meet future Gateway needs, and improved land use efficiency, will both be fundamentally important. We, and all other Gateway stakeholders, need to plan for this and invest to ensure it. For instance, in 2009 we capitalized on a downturn in the local property market and purchased four industrial properties — around 122 acres — at a total cost of $93.25 million in 2009 alone to secure land for future Gateway development. This is an example of our re-investment of income from ongoing activities in strategic programs, to ensure that the long-term needs of the Gateway and the Canadian economy can be met. We will continue to invest directly in the future of the Gateway in this way, and also to consult with Gateway stakeholders and partners to ensure investment in other critical infrastructure projects, with more immediate stakeholder benefits, but beyond the traditional scope of direct port investments, can be appropriately funded.
Two other major business priorities—rail performance and labour-management relations — are complex but critically important.
We believe that our Gateway has not up to now had consistent and reliable rail service to the degree necessary to meet customer and stakeholder needs and expectations, and to maximize Canada’s trade growth potential. This imposes additional costs and uncertainty upon supply chain participants, and increases the financial risks of current and future investments in the port system. It also threatens the Gateway’s international reputation, competitive position and ability to respond to market opportunities.
It’s important to recognise that operational performance of the Gateway is not just based on averages over time. Daily and weekly service performance reliability and consistency are essential customer requirements.
Simply stated, we believe in a collaborative approach, reciprocal accountability, and commercial solutions. We are not advocating for regulatory change.
This means that every participant in the supply chain must work together, to be accountable to each other for service standards that optimize output, while respecting the need for all participants to earn a fair commercial return that motivates ongoing investment.
Therefore, within the Port Metro Vancouver submission to the Transport Canada Rail Freight Service Review Panel, we propose a commercial, not regulatory, solution based on three recommendations.
Our first recommendation is to develop and implement level of services agreements. These agreements between the railways, railway customers and other stakeholders would address service-related issues and provide a commercial dispute resolution mechanism to address problems between railways and rail stakeholders. We also encourage commercial initiatives such as expanded utilization of rail assets and networks through commercially negotiated co-production agreements.
In May, Port Metro Vancouver and CN entered into a supply chain collaboration agreement to drive further efficiencies at the port and recognize the importance of reciprocal accountability for service-related matters. While the Port’s terminal operators and lessees are not party to the port-wide agreement, we encourage our operators to enter into commercial, level-of-service agreements with their railway suppliers – and we note that this is already happening. We firmly believe that separate service agreements, directly negotiated between terminal operators and railways within the gateway, can, and will, improve port-wide collaboration on service issues, and will positively impact both the Gateway’s performance, and its reputation for reliability and consistency. We are pleased that following on from our supply chain collaboration agreement with CN, CN is displaying leadership in starting to develop service agreements with terminals within the gateway.
Our second recommendation is to implement independent performance monitoring to increase the transparency of the supply chain by measuring, monitoring, evaluating and reporting on performance to identify opportunities for improvement.
And our third recommendation is to make a minor amendment the Canada Transportation Act to confirm that port authorities and terminals have standing to bring a complaint before the Agency to proactively address service-related issues in support of the desired outcome of adequate, consistent, reliable and cost-effective rail services.
We believe that a commercial approach, with all of the supply chain partners at the table, is the best way to deliver the critically necessary and essential improvements required. But, if after two years the monitoring program shows that significant improvement has not taken place, then a further review with consideration for wider change would be required.
The success of Canada’s port system critically depends on Canada’s rail supply chain. Therefore, railway supply chain performance, capacity and service are a top strategic priority and major focus for us moving forward.
With respect to labour-management relations, our focus is also on consistency and certainty. Labour disruption in the Gateway threatens our reputation as a reliable port, damages Canada’s international trade reputation, and undermines the value of government’s continuing investments in expanding trade through the Pacific Gateway.
While Port Metro Vancouver has experienced relative waterfront stability since 1999, the port also has a history of multiple bargaining units engaged in multiple negotiations with regular threats of disruption.
Most collective agreements that impact port operations are negotiated with relatively few problems. However, some collective agreements cause uncertainty and economic damage every time they come up for negotiation. In these cases, the mere opportunity for, or threat of, a labour dispute is enough to cause diversion of cargo to other gateways and damage to the Vancouver Gateway’s reputation for reliability.
While the number of high-risk bargaining environments is small, the change required to address the risks those agreements repeatedly create is critically important.
With leadership from the Government of Canada, we must all work to reconcile the difficult but important changes required in some areas within a few key, high-risk collective bargaining environments. It’s not the agreements themsleves but the process that concerns us.
The Federal Government, Port Metro Vancouver and its funding and project partners have spent many years planning and delivering infrastructure requirements to optimize the Vancouver Gateway. Now, we need to leverage these investments to ensure the Gateway’s future success and the delivery of maximum economic benefit to Canada from the investments we’ve made.
Together, we can build the most efficient logistics chain in the world, but if our users worry about stability, performance or reliability, then our Gateway suffers. The bottom line is that we must always perform. And the performance standards we achieve are ours alone to manage and deliver.
We believe the most effective approach to improve performance and share in the benefits of our Gateway will be through collaborative partnerships that deliver Gateway optimization, demand reciprocal accountability, and seriously consider environmental and social impacts.
In conclusion, for 2010 and beyond:
I would like to thank the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Board of Directors for their vision, guidance and support during my first year as CEO, and our many customers, tenants, stakeholders and labour for the value they bring to our relationships.
Especially, I would like to thank the staff at Port Metro Vancouver for their dedication, enthusiasm and commitment. Our people continue to be our number one asset, and I am privileged to work alongside them as we lead change in our Gateway.
At this time, I would like to introduce Allan Baydala, Chief Financial Officer, who will report on the 2009 financials.
Thank you, Allan.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone for attending our Annual General Meeting. I invite you to pick-up a copy of our audited financial statements, if you have not already done so.
We have taken a more sustainable approach to reporting this year by offering our annual report on-line only. I invite you to visit our website at portmetrovancouver.com to view our annual report and let us know what you think.
We have some time available for questions, after which I invite you to join us in the Ocean Foyer, immediately outside of this room, to meet with our Board Members and employees, and enjoy some light refreshments.
Now, if you have a question or comment, please make your way to one of the microphones located in the aisle.
Thank you, Robin. Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my pleasure to present to you the 2009 consolidated financial statements of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The auditor, KPMG, provided their opinion that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Port Authority as at December 31, 2009 and 2008.
Copies of our consolidated financial statements, including our auditor's opinion, are available at the table where you came in.
And I would like to announce that KPMG has been appointed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Board of Directors to undertake the audit for the year 2010.
In 2009, although we experienced an overall volume decrease, the VFPA maintained a strong financial performance with operating revenues of $147 million and a net income of $39.5 million.
We continued to work in 2009 to control expenses. In 2009, operating expenses were $97.3 million and included $2.0 million for engineering studies previously capitalized. In addition, non operating expenses included a provision for asset impairment of $4.4 million at one of our subsidiaries.
VFPA continued to invest in new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure for our customers, improvements in safety and security for our stakeholders, and enhancements to our environmental programs.
Capital expenditures totalled $167 million in 2009, primarily due to the expansion of the Deltaport Third Berth and land acquisitions.
However, our operations generated only $59 million of cash flow in 2009. This shortfall required VFPA to borrow approximately $120 million on our short term bank line by the end of 2009 and in April 2010 a 10-year, $100 million rated private placement bond was issued, supported by a Standard & Poor’s AA credit rating – the first by a Canadian Port Authority.
The year 2009 was marked by record capital expenditures and a healthy net income by controlling costs. By taking a long-term, strategic approach to financial management and planning, we have been able to ensure the financial self-sufficiency and health of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
Now I’d like to turn the podium back to Robin.
Minister Day, Minister Black, Mayor Jackson, Chief Baird, Mr. Moore, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen: Good morning, and thank you so much for joining us today to celebrate the official opening of the Deltaport Third Berth.
On behalf of Port Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors, our Executive Leadership Team and the port authority’s dedicated employees, I am very pleased to welcome you to our Deltaport container terminal, right here on the expanded berth, and in the company of those who have played a key role in this achievement.
Since Deltaport opened in 1997, the maritime and transportation industries have seen our governments and communities awaken to the realization of the importance of international trade to our economy, our livelihoods, and our lifestyles. We have seen the corresponding growth in the region, in our Port, and at this terminal. We have also seen the corresponding and important growth of the relationships that we have built together during the same time. Today, I would like to offer our sincere thanks for your support.
We recognize and thank our many customers for your business and continued confidence in the Metro Vancouver Gateway. We understand that your business decisions directly influence our success, and we value your continued loyalty, even more so during these challenging times.
We recognize and thank the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia for your continued focus and absolutely unprecedented financial and policy support, as we work together to build the Pacific Gateway for the benefit of all Canadians.
We recognize and thank the Corporation of Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation for your continued engagement as we work together to understand each other’s needs, identify community impacts, and realize mutual benefits.
We recognize and thank the management and staff of our terminal operator, Global Container Terminals, for your commitment to operational excellence and sustainable choices, as we work together to enhance productivity and reliability, and minimize impacts to our important host communities.
We recognize and thank the volunteer members of the Deltaport Third Berth Project Community Liaison Committee for your commitment to identify community concerns during project construction and the first year of operations, as we work together to redefine our relationship with the community.
And we recognize and thank the many Port Metro Vancouver employees who have so conscientiously contributed your expertise, with enthusiasm and professionalism, since 2002, toward the completion of the Deltaport Third Berth expansion project.
Over the last few years — and despite the anomalous, worldwide economic downturn we have experienced this past year — our Gateway has grown from strength to strength. The future continues to look promising, with container throughput on the west coast expected to double in the next ten years. This new berth on which you stand today is part of Port Metro Vancouver’s long term plan to strengthen Canada’s Pacific Gateway and ensure our nation’s ability to accommodate the growth in container trade, in particular with Pacific Rim economies.
With excellent rail connections into North America, a defined strategy for infrastructure expansion, a professional labour force, unprecedented government support, and a commitment to sustainability, the Metro Vancouver Gateway offers many competitive advantages.
Our investment and expansion in Deltaport demonstrates our confidence in this Gateway and a vision for the future that we share with our government, industry and community stakeholders. And we are very pleased that you have joined us to share in this proud achievement.
I invite you to take advantage of the unique opportunity you have today to experience this spectacular terminal first hand. Thank you for your continued support, and thank you for celebrating with us today.
Check against delivery
Leading Generational Change: The Case for Growth
Good afternoon, and thank you, John (Orr, CN), for your kind introduction.
I am extremely pleased to speak with you today, to offer my thoughts on Port Metro Vancouver’s future, and to invite you, for the next 20 minutes or so, to consider some alternatives to how we view ourselves. By looking at some fairly well defined opportunities and risks, I hope to make a clear case for the inevitability of growth in our industry, and specifically the requirement for growth at Port Metro Vancouver. I also hope to offer a new way to think about our role both as an industry, and in terms of what we really bring to our regions and our nation.
Let’s start with today.
As we find ourselves more than 12 months into a worldwide economic downturn, operating in a fragile business climate and questioning past best practices, I believe our industry and our economy will inevitably return to growth.
Many business leaders have expressed optimism and confidence in the future. Just one month ago, Warren Buffet unveiled a US$44-billion deal to buy out the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway, declaring his move as “an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States.” You can’t get much more optimistic and confident than that. The National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight recently reported that major U.S. ports would soon see their first year-over-year growth in nearly three years. And, regarding the economic outlook for British Columbia, just last month the Bank of Canada’s Deputy Governor, Mr. John Murray, said that major public sector spending on transportation and other infrastructure projects will continue to contribute to growth this year and in 2010.
At Port Metro Vancouver, we believe that it’s safe to say our overall declines have slowed. Some cargo sectors have experienced positive growth, and we do expect to see more of this trend over coming months.
While we all exercise due caution as we search for the metaphorical green shoots, I think it’s clear that we’re not back in positive territory quite yet. So, in the current context of economic contraction, why is Port Metro Vancouver talking about growth? Indeed, why do we talk about growth at all?
In the simplest terms, our Port grows in response to the needs of individuals and the economy. Let me give you two quick examples.
In 1970 – about 40 years ago, the Port handled approximately 27 million metric tonnes of cargo. The population of Canada was 21 million. This year, we estimate the Port will handle close to 100 million metric tonnes of cargo. According to Stats Canada’s real time population clock, this morning the population of Canada is nearly 34 million. In 40 years, the Canadian population has increased by 60%, and the total cargo volume at the Port has nearly quadrupled.
Here’s another example, this time in the container sector. In 1971 the port handled 66,000 TEUs (20’ containers). In August this year, the container ship ZIM Djibouti called at Deltaport. This vessel can carry more than 10,000 containers. Theoretically, we could handle the Port’s entire container volume of 1971 with about 3 full exchanges of the ZIM Djibouti. And, we could complete this in record time with North America’s largest cranes.
Underscored by these examples are a couple of important points:
Number 1: Population increase acts as a key driver for the growth of cargo volume – for demand-driven consumables on the import side, and for demand-driven commodities, that support our economy, on the export side.
Number 2: We are, quite literally, dependent on international trade for our quality of life. According to Professor William Rees of UBC, “the Lower Mainland can only sustain a population of 50,000 people,” based on what can be produced, manufactured, or grown locally. “That’s considerably less than the 2.5 million people in the region today. We are indeed mostly dependent on ‘elsewhere’ to provide the goods and services we consume, and to assimilate our wastes.” As David Baxter notes in his paper “Changing People Changing Places” delivered at the recent Outlook 2020 Forum: “There is no 100-mile menu for cell phones.”
We also know from Metro Vancouver’s growth strategy that more than 1 million additional people will move to this region by 2040. This will mean additional consumption, increased workforce and economic activity – all generating increased trade opportunities, and requirements.
Canada’s population growth drives international trade. We are a trading nation. And, most importantly, we can be confident that a return to economic growth is inevitable.
But, why just wait for an inevitable return to growth, when we can already start to plan and define a different and better future? We can change the way we think and act. If we move beyond just reactive response, our industry can lead a major change in thinking, and act to deliver a generational change — not only in key supply chain infrastructure, but in the way we understand and operate the entire supply chain, including impacts and benefits.
Let’s think about our own growth strategy. We want a future where growth is anticipated, enabled, considered; where pinch-points are understood in advance; where we tackle our challenges in the context of benefits. In our future, our responsibility to and for economic generation is understood, respected, and supported in host communities because we work together toward common goals; relationships are built and strengthened. Growth means integration resulting in capacity availability, congestion-free or manageable corridors, integrated road and rail interface, and sustainable growth solutions. Leadership replaces regulation. We do things because it’s the best business solution that brings with it the most positive environmental and social impact.
This future looks bright — because capacity accommodates growth, delivers economic empowerment and informs sustainable choices. This is, in fact, already happening on Canada’s West Coast.
In the past 15 years – less than one generation – we’ve witnessed innovation and experienced astonishing business developments, here and abroad: the explosive global emergence of container trade; and, the growing recognition that our own Gateway is an integrated system, greater than the value of its individual components.
In the Metro Vancouver Gateway, we are experiencing unprecedented public and private investment. Industry stakeholders have committed to spend more than $4 billion over ten years to develop the Gateway. Our senior governments are promoting trade and stimulating our economy by carrying out their responsibility of developing public infrastructure. Together, our provincial and federal governments have exceeded private sector commitments by identifying nearly $5 billion in program funding over the next several years.
Where is this public and private investment going? Let me give you a few examples. The Deltaport Third Berth will open in January and, along with its three new quad cranes, will increase cargo handling capacity at Deltaport by around 40%. Recently announced Trade Corridor initiatives on the North Shore, South Shore and from Roberts Bank-to-Langley corridor are underway. We have private sector terminal investment underway in the bulk sector. And, our proposed Terminal 2 project at Roberts Bank will increase the Port’s container terminal capacity by around 2 million TEUs in the longer term.
In total, these projects comprise terminal development, road and rail grade separations, route extensions, and other landside enhancements that will smooth regional traffic flow, improve access to port facilities, and boost Gateway competitiveness.
We have now moved from making a case for major investment — which was overlooked by senior governments for nearly a generation — to tackling the better challenge of delivering on that investment. Our new challenge moving forward will be continuing the momentum.
That’s why it’s up to us to leverage this investment —it’s our responsibility to plan for market, population and economic growth, to deliver economic empowerment, and to ensure Gateway success, in a sustainable way, by considering every business sector and identifying every emerging opportunity.
As a result of these substantial initiatives, Vancouver represents a well-established, strategic gateway for international cargo flows – import and export – across all business sectors.
We became a thriving international Gateway through forethought and planning; commitment, cooperation, collaboration; risk and investment from the private sector and government; a realization that economic, social and environmental sustainability are intertwined.
These approaches and qualities are all vitally important, as we accomplish nothing without solid working relationships kept in good order. But most importantly, we got here by understanding that growth is a fundamental premise, that it’s our responsibility to plan for market, population and economic growth, in a sustainable way. And, we got here by understanding that the Gateway is an integrated system.
We’ve proven we can grow, sustainably, and growth has come. Now we’re moving forward. But this forward movement is not without risk. All of this demonstrated capability, commitment and momentum might conceivably come to an abrupt standstill, immobilized by the inaccessibility of one precious finite resource: Land.
Without land – in the right geographies to continue to develop and enhance the Gateway — we would be left literally with no foundation, and, therefore, no possibility for economic growth.
Land availability, use, management, reclamation, leverage, is going to be the core of Gateway development going forward: to increase capacity, improve operational efficiency, manage supply chain reliability; and to manage community interface, buffer and mitigate inevitable impacts, helping ensure social license to operate, recognizing that port communities bear greater impact than other communities across the nation.
BUT not just any land. Not just land for port use, but land for all the related economic uses, and to provide the beneficial consequences the population demands. As David Baxter says, “it makes neither economic nor environmental sense to attempt to grow tea or coffee in BC.” There quite literally is no 100-mile menu for cell phones. We are dependent on trade for much of what we need and use, and land is required for the mechanics of trade — the supply chain — to operate.
We also need to recognize that land reclamation is not about just creating more concrete. If we can leverage dredged material from the Fraser River to develop or bank more habitat or more agricultural land, for more and wider benefit, this in turn will allow us to create more industrial land.
Our regional context in Metro Vancouver is that we’re Canada’s third largest population and growing. Around 600,000 jobs will be added to the region by 2040 — that’s 1.8 million total jobs. We need an adequate supply of land for all sectors of the economy: well-placed, integrated, accessible, serviceable; connected to a population base; offering choice, workforce, related services; maintained and protected to serve local and global markets as a foundation for trade and generation of economic value. And we must continue to be mindful of our responsibility for sustainability: where our development takes place; the goals for all activities in our region; and, being better neighbours.
We are also very much in a long-term business. As a landlord port, we plan infrastructure now, for the future. And to manage our future — as well as the inevitable and escalating demand of our population for a standard of living — we have no time for complacency. What and where are the Gateway land requirements? We are at the start of the next phase of this process.
We’re planning future supply chain requirements and considering how supply chains may change. We’re reviewing land availability and options, in earnest. We’re assessing physical constraints to growth – mountains, water, the border – finite land availability. We’re aligning with community requirements, regional needs and government. We’re recognizing competition from industry, commercial and retail use, housing, agriculture, leisure, green space and parks. We’re leveraging the current short-term recession for long term gain with strategic land purchases to prevent further erosion of industrial land bank and to preserve and expand the land bank.
For instance, we need to look at the Fraser River with completely fresh eyes. We need to protect the Fraser River asset economically, environmentally and socially. What is the value of this asset to Canada? In 2008, we handled more than 33 million tonnes of cargo and more than 200,000 TEU (containers) on the Fraser River alone. This represents $9.6 billion in economic output and more than 53,000 jobs, accounting for $2.6 billion in wages. By comparison, the St. Lawrence Seaway handled 40 million tonnes of cargo in 2008, and produced an economic impact in Ontario of $2.5 billion and $2 billion in Quebec. Why compare the two? To make the point that the Fraser River is a national asset, of a size with the St. Lawrence Seaway — and it’s in our back yard.
In 2006, Premier Gordon Campbell said this about the Seaway: “50 years ago, there was a vision in this country... it was called the St. Lawrence Seaway... a national vision of what we could do. In fact, it was called the “gateway to the world.”
Doesn’t that sound familiar? “Gateway to the world.” Fifty years ago, the Canadian government positioned the St. Lawrence Seaway as vitally important to the country’s future as a trading nation. But, in the intervening 50 years, the economic centre of gravity in the world has shifted from Canada’s East to Canada’s West — and now we are the Gateway to the world.
So, what has changed since Premier Campbell’s remarks in 2006? Well, three years on, we are more specifically focused. In our Gateway, we have demonstrated a well-established pattern of collaborative behaviour with industry stakeholders and governments. We have cooperation instead of division. We have engagement instead of disagreement. We understand and believe that the Pacific Gateway is of national interest – this is national infrastructure development, and we need to understand its significance the same way the nation looked at the Seaway 50 years ago.
Our senior governments have worked together in the past three years to align their infrastructure development priorities, to enhance the Gateway for the benefit of all Canadians. The Port is aligned with these priorities and we act as a major funding partner for many of these initiatives: we have quite literally invested in Gateway development, and we have a stake in its future. The Port’s focus used to be the marine interface. Now, we’re thinking very broadly across the entire national supply chain, while working locally to develop those national connections.
We have continued to move to more of a business model and, like any business, we need to demonstrate shareholder value, here and now. Our shareholder is the Canadian public. We must ensure we get an appropriate return on current and future investment in the Gateway.
We also need to manage risks. As I say, the lack of available industrial land could stop our ability to grow. But the lack of reliability is no less risky, as it stops us from leveraging full value from our significant investments. We do need to apply considerably more effort to ensure Gateway reliability and optimization.
Even as we contribute to and benefit from the significant government and private investment in components of the Gateway, the bottom line is that we must always perform. Our collective efforts will be squandered if our reputation for reliability and consistency does not match our customers’ expectations.
Good rail service is fundamental to the success of the Gateway. Whether we expand OR contract our supply chain, all our supply chain partners must act in concert with each other to minimize impacts on our users. We must agree to specific service commitments, and then keep them.
Another vital contributor to reliability is labour/management relations. While our Gateway has experienced relative waterfront stability since 1999, the mere opportunity for labour disputes is enough to cause damage to our reputation for reliability. Earlier this year, you will recall that even the threat of job action by ILWU foremen caused cargo diversions to US west coast ports. If our users worry about stability, performance or reliability, then our Gateway and our economy will suffer.
As we have seen just this week with the job action between CN and its engineers, represented by the Teamsters, all port-related labour disruptions threaten the Port’s reputation as a reliable port, damage the international trade reputation of the country, undermine the value of government’s and private sector’s continuing investments in expanding trade, and jeopardize the potential for future private investment. This strike may now be over, but Gateway recovery is just beginning, and will take some time.
As our Gateway approaches longshore labour force negotiations in early 2010, we recognize that, ultimately, reliability is essential, and it is reliability that rewards our shareholders, through proper asset utilization and economic growth.
We also recognize that economic activity generates impacts: traffic congestion, air emissions, noise. Along with performance reliability and land availability, increased community impacts represent a tangible risk to our future success. Moving forward, how do we enable economic activity while addressing the inevitable consequences? By working closely with all levels of government. By developing leading environmental programs that combine innovative mitigation initiatives and excellence in environmental stewardship. And by continuing community and aboriginal engagement.
When we think about 2035 or even 2050, we need to identify common themes or factors and advance the philosophy that has built our Gateway.
Quite frankly, we can choose to understand the Port any way we want. It’s perhaps about traffic — or actually about better mobility — in municipalities. It’s perhaps about industrialization — or actually about empowerment — of the region.
Or, we can look beyond municipalities and regions, to broader benefits for all Canadians, locally and across the nation. It’s about the vital market link for importers and exporters that generates economic wealth and jobs. It’s about enabling a population and delivering quality of life. It’s about the sustainable development opportunity the Port affords, now and in the future, combining economic growth, habitat protection and community-building partnership.
We can create a national competitive advantage by delivering a generational change in infrastructure development. To do so, we also need to deliver a change in our belief of who we are, and the value we bring to the nation.
The potential of the Pacific Gateway has ignited the imaginations of our political leaders and influencers, just as the development of the St. Lawrence Seaway did more than 50 years ago. In October, Prime Minister Harper visited the Port to make a funding announcement, and he said “the lifeblood of the [Canadian] economy flows through the heart of Port Metro Vancouver, and the Gateway Initiative is making that heart beat stronger than ever.” We need to leverage this commitment and continue building the foundations for our future success.
Let’s work to reignite our imaginations, to believe in the value of this endeavour, to build this national infrastructure – the Pacific Gateway – that benefits the entire nation. There is no time for complacency; there is no place for regionalism. By enabling sustainable growth, delivering a generational change in infrastructure development, and redefining our role, we can inspire the confidence to believe in and deliver the full potential of the Asia Pacific Gateway as Canada’s most precious national asset.
Before I close, I’d like to tell you a story. I was in Qingdao in 2002 with P&O. We were working on the framework to complete phase 3 of Qingdao Container Terminal – taking the terminal to a total of four berths and 24 cranes. I returned to Qingdao last month. In the seven years since I’d been back, they’ve opened the first part of phase 4 with two more berths that now have 37 cranes. These are 100-tonne lift cranes — larger than anything we see in North America. And, they’re planning to build a further eight berths in phase 4.
Ladies and gentlemen, the growth is going to happen, with or without us. The ships they handle in Qingdao are the same ships we handle at Port Metro Vancouver. Our economies are intertwined — and those ships that travel back and forth across the ocean are physical links between us.
So, for us to take charge and write our own future, what does the Port need to do?
We need to, and will, ensure the future that unfolds delivers planned, enabled growth, to ensure our, and Canada’s, economic future, and to minimize and mitigate community impacts.
We need to, and will, ensure we minimize risk around the availability and sustainability of port land, and further leverage its proper use by delivering performance reliability.
We need to, and will, move now to ensure that the next generation will look back and remark on the rewards and results of our continued development of Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway.
I believe that we can advocate for improvement, collaborate with supply chain partners, invest in the network, deliver on our Gateway’s spectacular potential, engage our stakeholders, governments and communities, inspire confidence — and lead this generational change.
Port Metro Vancouver – Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway
Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen: Good afternoon. My name is Robin Silvester, and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s largest and most diversified port. On behalf of our Board and my Executive, I offer my congratulations to the conference organizers for hosting this important international summit and I thank you for inviting me to participate on this panel, along with my esteemed colleagues.
I am particularly pleased to join you in Qingdao, as I have vivid memories of working closely on the expansion and shareholder restructure of QQCT during my tenure with P&O Ports.
To Port Metro Vancouver’s many customers here this afternoon: I thank you for your business and continued confidence in the Metro Vancouver Gateway. We understand that your business decisions directly influence our success. We value the continued loyalty of our customers, even more so during these challenging times, and we recognize the significance of the solid, long term relationships we have built together.
I have been asked to speak to you today about what I think we need to do, as an industry, to overcome our current critical business challenges. I look forward to sharing my perspective with you, and to discussing your ideas during our panel discussion and during breaks in the proceedings.
As we find ourselves more than 12 months into a worldwide economic downturn, operating within a tenuous business climate and questioning our understanding of past best practices, I believe that the end is not yet in sight. Many of our industry leaders have expressed optimism: just last week, our esteemed host, Captain Wei Jaifu, predicted that “the worst of the crisis is past.” Some of our industry leaders have expressed confidence: again last week, Mr. Warren Buffet unveiled a US$44-billion deal to buy out the number one rail operator in the United States, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, declaring his move as “an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States.” I, too, am optimistic and confident that our industry and our economies will eventually and inevitably return to growth. But like many of you, I don’t think we’re there yet.
Among the six major North American west coast ports, we see consistently lower volumes across the board. Five of the six major ports — including ourselves — are down between 15% to 23% September year-to-date.
At Port Metro Vancouver, we have experienced nine months of declining volumes in all major cargo business sectors. Despite some bright spots, we are down nearly 14% overall September year-to-date.
Our customers – the shipping lines – have experienced even worse business results.
But, let us remember that this is only one point in time – it is a major anomaly. Like our visionary industry leaders, we remain optimistic and confident in our future, and we have many indicators that underscore our positive expectations, despite recent dips.
For instance, every major world economy, including our own Port’s major trading partners, has some form of stimulus program in place to boost economic regeneration. Also, according to forecasters at PIERS, TranSystems and TTX, several positive signs have begun to emerge in the United States, including stabilizing financial markets, increasing commodity prices, reduced inventory levels, rising global shipping indicators, and a nearly complete US housing correction. These same forecasters expect North American overall container volumes to recover, albeit slowly, in 2010.
At Port Metro Vancouver, we believe that it’s safe to say our overall declines have slowed. Some cargo sectors have experienced positive growth, and we do expect to see more of this trend over coming months.
Despite these positive indicators, we are still amid the worst marine recession that most of us have ever experienced.
Whether recovery is imminent or more remote, I believe that the quality of our relationships – on every level – will help to guide the resurgence of our industry.
At Port Metro Vancouver, we will emerge from this crisis, even stronger, because we have ambitious and defined expectations, solid relationships to uphold them, and confidence that we are well-placed for the future.
We are confident that Port Metro Vancouver will remain Canada’s most important asset in the growth and prosperity of the Pacific Gateway. Canada’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, confirmed this when he attended our Port in October and publicly stated that the lifeblood of the Canadian economy flows through the heart of Port Metro Vancouver.
We are encouraged by the leadership and vision of our federal government to recognize the value of implementing new policies and to commit more than a billion dollars to infrastructure development, in the interest of expanding our nation’s trade potential. But it doesn’t stop there. Our government advances international trade initiatives, not just with vital infrastructure investment, but by building and maintaining relationships. Prime Minister Harper will be in Singapore this weekend to attend the APEC summit, after which he will travel to India. The Prime Minister will make a separate trip to China from December second through sixth. The Canadian Government has in fact arranged 18 ministerial-level visits to China alone since 2006, demonstrating an understanding and commitment to advance trade relations with important world economies.
While our federal government does their job of promoting trade and stimulating our economy by carrying out their traditional role of developing public infrastructure, at the Port we are busy doing our job, too. Our Port handles the largest international and domestic cargo volumes of any Canadian port – nearly 115 million tonnes last year. Fully 95% of our volume either originates in Canada, or is meant for Canadian consumption. So, while Port Metro Vancouver currently holds less than a 1% market share of North American west coast US-destined container traffic, like every other port we are in the business of growing volume.
Yes, we are blessed with advantageous geography. We are also able to leverage our government’s mandate to invest in road and rail upgrades and manage foreign trade relations, as we look to expand our international competitiveness. But to remain Canada’s most important asset in the growth of the Pacific Gateway, we must also recognize the continued loyalty of our customers, our ongoing engagement with host communities, and our productive relationships with industry stakeholders and transportation service providers. All these realities, together, powerfully contribute to our capacity, competency and capability for Canada, and for North America.
This capability will lead to growth — and we are confident in the inevitable long term growth of the Canadian population, in economic activity, in consumer consumption, exporting and trade.
Growth requires collaboration — and we are confident in the continued tremendous collaboration among industry, government and the Port. I believe that growth must be anticipated, enabled and considered. Most importantly, growth must be a cooperative, fully-integrated venture. Integration in turn results in capacity availability, congestion-free or manageable corridors, and better road and rail interface.
Collaboration, then, leads to investment — and we are confident in the continued investment in our network. In the Metro Vancouver Gateway, we are on the heels of unprecedented public and private investment. Industry stakeholders have committed to spend more than $4 billion over ten years to develop the Gateway. Together, our provincial and federal governments have exceeded these private sector commitments by identifying nearly $5 billion in program funding over the next several years. In total, these projects comprise terminal development, road and rail grade separations, route extensions, and other landside enhancements that will smooth regional logistics flow, improve access to port facilities, and boost Gateway competitiveness.
While investment builds infrastructure, it’s up to us to leverage it — and we are confident in our ability to accommodate growth, deliver economic empowerment, and ensure Gateway success through the sustainability of our financial, environmental and social initiatives.
It’s our responsibility to plan for inevitable market, population and economic growth, in a sustainable way. We must consider every business sector — automobile, bulk, breakbulk, container and cruise — and we must identify every emerging opportunity. Key to moving forward in our current climate is the availability and development of industrial land to ensure sufficient capacity to handle current and future volumes.
As an example, we’ve added a third berth and 20 hectares of container storage facilities to our container terminal at Deltaport. In August, we received three new quad cranes that represent the first technology of its kind in use in North and South America, capable of lifting two 40-foot containers or four 20-foot containers at the same time. Our terminal operator estimates that these quay cranes will account for a 40% increase in cargo handling capacity. The new berth at Deltaport is scheduled to begin operation in January 2010.
In addition, our proposed Terminal 2 project at Roberts Bank will increase the Port’s container terminal capacity by around 2 million TEUs. While the recession has extended the timeline for this particular project, we are absolutely committed to developing T2 as part of the port’s long term container strategy.
We have other projects under development to enhance our various business sectors.
Like any business, we need to demonstrate shareholder value, and our shareholders are the Canadian public. We must ensure we get an appropriate return on our investment by delivering and constantly improving reliability.
While we work to improve our operations and seek infrastructure development opportunities for the long term success of our Gateway, we do have areas where we still need to apply considerably more effort. One of these areas is Gateway reliability and optimization.
Even as we contribute to and benefit from the significant government and private investment in components of the Gateway and various business sectors, the bottom line is that we must always perform. Our collective efforts will be squandered if our reputation for reliability and consistency does not match our customers’ expectations.
Whether we expand OR contract our supply chain, all our supply chain partners must act in concert with each other to minimize impacts on our users. We must agree to specific service commitments – and then keep them.
Another vital contributor to reliability is labour/management relations. While our Gateway has experienced relative waterfront stability since 1999, the mere opportunity for labour disputes is enough to cause damage to our reputation for reliability. If our users worry about stability, performance or reliability, then our Gateway and our economy will suffer. As our Gateway approaches negotiations in early 2010, we recognize that, ultimately, it is reliability that rewards our shareholders, through proper asset management and economic growth.
In the context of proper asset management, Port Metro Vancouver’s challenge during this downturn is to plan for the inevitable positive business climate that we know will eventually return. This, in fact, is where our relationship with our customers becomes vitally important.
We recognize that shipping lines have experienced extreme and even dire consequences resulting from the worldwide economic downturn. To emerge from this global crisis stronger and more capable, we must work together, ever more closely, to build a more stable and realistic business environment in which to operate. I believe that this ultimate goal is the same, even as we may differ in our approach to achieve it. At Port Metro Vancouver, we have applied our investment toward literally laying the foundation for future success, through infrastructure development and Gateway enhancement.
If we accomplish these goals, we will ensure the reliability of the supply chain, provide the operational stability required for customers to choose Port Metro Vancouver, and emerge from the current crisis together.
I believe that this approach will allow us to:
I remember, several years ago, standing on the quay of the newly expanded Qingdao Container Terminal, very near here, with the then Chairman of P&O Ports, watching cranes load ships seemingly stretching as far as the eye can see. He turned and said to me, “we are watching the beating heart of world trade.” It has stayed with me all these years.
When I look out my office window at Port Metro Vancouver, I see similarly that we are a vivid reflection of the Canadian economy. I believe that the collective business efforts of our customers, commercial users, service providers, government partners and labour is vitally important in hastening a return to economic health for our region.
And so, in conclusion, to write our future and emerge from the current global downturn, Port Metro Vancouver will take every opportunity to plan, sustainably, for inevitable growth, to develop Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway, and, ultimately, to ensure the economic future of Port Metro Vancouver and our nation.
And we will do so by continuing to value our customers, by collaborating with our industry and government partners, by respecting our host communities, and by holding, in the highest regard, the important relationships that we have built, together.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Thank you to Reverend Parker for inviting me to join your annual marine industry luncheon.
The important work that Mission to Seafarers undertakes in supporting the well-being of seafarers – spiritual, mental and physical - is a critical service and your strong presence in this port contributes to making us one of the preferred ports in the world for seafarers.
I am pleased to be here this afternoon to provide an update on the port’s performance and to share some thoughts on what the future might hold.
You will all know that after nearly 150 years of existing separately, the Fraser River Port Authority, North Fraser Port Authority and Vancouver Port Authority amalgamated on January 1, 2008 to continue as the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, doing business as Port Metro Vancouver.
In a relatively short period of time, the Port has begun to realize many benefits from this unique merger:
We now enjoy an integrated approach to land use, strategic infrastructure investments, transportation planning, and sustainability initiatives to capitalize on opportunities for coordinated development along the Fraser River, at Roberts Bank and within Burrard Inlet and maximize Gateway potential.
Our combined resources bring greater opportunities for land acquisition, such as our recent purchase of the former Canfor property in New Westminster.
We have sharpened our focus on river management with a comprehensive dredging policy and commitments to a ten-year dredging program and a 30-year dredge material management program.
We have improved our level of service to customers, stakeholders, tenants and port users. For example, in cooperation over several years with our container terminal operators and our railways CN and CP, we have developed a port optimization plan that details specific service expectations and commitments to help shippers more reliably track their cargo movements. We believe this type of close operational cooperation has allowed more effective response to emerging issues, and helped to maintain the Gateway’s reputation for efficient goods movement.
As an amalgamated port with greater scope and influence, we are well on our way to realizing our promise of becoming a driving force in Canada’s logistics chain as we work with our industry and government stakeholders to build a world-class gateway here in Metro Vancouver.
You will also know that the Port is a vital economic generator for our national and local economies, providing 129,500 jobs nationally and contributing $10.5 billion in GDP, $22 billion in economic impact and $1.2 billion annually in tax revenue to all levels of government according to a 2008 InterVistas study.
The Port’s performance can be measured in a number of ways: by revenue generated; by volume shipped and cruise passengers welcomed; and by relationships cultivated.
Whatever the measure we use to assess our results, we must acknowledge the performance of all the people – many of whom are here today – that contributed to the Port’s mission to lead the efficient and reliable movement of cargo and passengers in a manner that supports Canadian growth and prosperity, now and in the future.
As changing environmental expectations and shifting social standards help to shape our business, Port Metro Vancouver continues to ground its actions in a commitment to corporate social responsibility.
Mindful of our economic, social and environmental impacts, we have continued to work toward a sustainability framework to ensure that Port programs and initiatives reflect environmental, social and economic sustainability.
To build our economic sustainability, we support marine and transportation infrastructure projects and supply chain initiatives that reflect responsible growth solutions to facilitate the secure and efficient movement of goods and passengers through the Port and generate vital economic value for our nation.
Our commitment to economic sustainability is perhaps most visibly reflected in the passenger and cargo volumes we handle.
The world economy experienced challenges beginning in 2008 and Port Metro Vancouver’s cargo statistics for the year reflected the interconnected nature of global trade. Overall tonnage reached nearly 115 million metric tonnes, down 10% from 2007, but still enough to make the Port North America’s fourth largest.
Additionally, factors such as the Port’s high degree of diversification and focus on the Canadian market allowed Port Metro Vancouver to demonstrate stability during a period of unprecedented worldwide economic difficulty, particularly in comparison to many of our competitors. In 2008, Port Metro Vancouver led North American ports in total foreign exports and ranked first among West Coast ports in total cargo tonnage.
Briefly, to give you a sense of where we are in our key business sectors, I will outline a comparison of year to date stats from May 2009 with May 2008:
Breakbulk cargo is down -36%. This sector is significantly impacted by challenges in the forest sector. Logs -51%; Lumber -13%
Dry bulk is down -20%. This includes potash down -77%; Coal -20%; Grain, specialty crops & feed +34%, including Canola +51%, Wheat +56%, Barley -47% and Animal feed -26%.
Liquid bulk is +16 % - Crude petroleum +167%; Animal/vegetable oils +9%.
Auto sector is -19 %
Cruise sector is + 9 % - 53 voyages; 177,000 revenue passengers
Containers -15 %
Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s highest volume container port. We currently hold a 49% foreign market share for foreign laden container traffic among Pacific Northwest ports.
So despite the downward trends in several of our major business sectors, we are still seeing growth and positive trends in some areas and I am confident in our strength as a diverse and reliable gateway. We are well positioned to rebound quickly once the world economy begins to recover.
As such, we continue to advance important work to strengthen the national supply chain, and we acknowledge our many engaged supply chain partners for their commitment to logistics excellence in our Gateway.
While we continue to deliver economic value, we are also dedicated to preserving the environmental beauty and diversity of our Port, both in the water and on the land. We are developing a sustainability framework that combines innovative mitigation and enhancement initiatives, new technologies, operational efficiencies and excellence in environmental stewardship to help maintain a healthy environment for future generations.
We also continue to manage marine and landside port operations and tenanted Port real estate to avoid or mitigate adverse environmental effects.
We have partnered with the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to implement the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, an environmental initiative addressing port-related contributions to air quality and climate change in the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound Airshed, and the first-ever international cooperative effort of this nature in the port community.
We have also advanced work on a $25 million environmental mitigation program for the Deltaport Third Berth Project, a project that will add a third berth to the existing Deltaport container terminal located at Roberts Bank.
We have implemented a new Truck Licensing System environmental policy, resulting in opacity emissions testing requirements for some older container trucks, and phasing out of others.
We have also implemented shore power for cruise ships at Canada Place.
This $9 million cooperative initiative among the Port, Federal and Provincial governments and cruise lines Holland America and Princess Cruises represents a Canadian first — and indeed makes us only the third port in the world to implement shore power for cruise ships — a highly effective method to reduce marine diesel air emissions.
Along with our economic and environmental commitments, our sustainability framework includes community and aboriginal engagement programs that encourage strong relationships and ongoing dialogue with the communities that share our geography.
We have undertaken extensive consultation and communications activities with the community of Delta to identify issues and minimize impacts related to the Deltaport Third Berth Project.
This is highlighted by the work of the Deltaport Third Berth Community Liaison Committee, a group of community volunteers that work with the port and our stakeholders to address community issues. This work is augmented by ongoing community information sessions, newsletters, and community building initiatives such as Delta Artist community ad campaign.
We have contributed $2 million to the Corporation of Delta for the acquisition of the historic Seven Seas Fishing Company site in Ladner, as part of that community’s plan to revitalize Ladner Harbour.
We have launched the North Shore Waterfront Liaison Committee to foster uniform communication among community, municipal, First Nations and industry stakeholders.
We continued our program to dedicate one percent of our net income to community-based charitable, scholarship, donation and sponsorship activities based on education, environment and community enrichment, to support and strengthen the communities in which the Port operates.
We advanced our education outreach program that reaches primary, secondary and post-secondary educators and students through career fairs and school presentations, and initiated a Leadership Program for secondary students to partner schools in four port municipalities.
As a direct benefit of port amalgamation, we have developed a dredging policy, held stakeholder consultation on our dredging philosophy, and committed to a 10-year dredging program, a 30-year dredge material program, and a $7-million Local Channel Dredging Contribution Program.
We also signed on as an Official Supplier of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This exciting relationship will allow us to provide facilities and support leading up to and during the 2010 Winter Games.
Looking to the future, Port Metro Vancouver is in business for the long-term. The marine infrastructure we build today – like terminals and docks and on-dock rail – will be in place for 75 or 100 years.
Together with our tenants we plan to invest more than $4 billion in supporting infrastructure over the next 10 years to serve the trade and industry requirements of our region and nation, provide much needed jobs, and ensure growth in the future.
Even though we are in the middle of a worldwide recession, we must take a long-term view. Because, our business is not about what happens tomorrow. It’s about what happens in the 10,000 tomorrows of the next thirty years.
And in the next thirty years, trade will increase. Even if we base our projections on simple population growth alone, then trade is going to increase.
Based on preliminary long-term projections, by 2050, Port Metro Vancouver may handle nearly twice as much cargo as it handles now.
Port amalgamation has allowed us to take a new approach to preparing for tomorrow.
Our focus on Trade Corridors is a great example of our non-traditional involvement in landside operations. Most recently, Port Metro Vancouver committed approximately $50 million toward the $225 million North Shore Trade Area infrastructure improvement project in Burrard Inlet, as part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. Five separate projects will enhance port and rail operations with technical support and financial contributions from governments, agencies and industry partners.
The Port also contributed $50 million toward the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor initiative, a $300 million road and rail grade separation project that extends to Langley from Roberts Bank in Delta. These Trade Corridor initiatives illustrate how building for the future with sustainable growth can be realized through cooperation among private and public partners.
We believe the South Shore of Burrard Inlet and the corridor along the Fraser River will benefit from similar investment and a trade area approach. We are looking forward to working with all levels of government, industry partners and communities in realizing capital developments that will similarly enhance the South Shore and Fraser River trade corridors.
But I would like to come back to the people part of our business. People and our connections with people are the most important. Our international seafarers commit so much to ensure that move goods through our ports efficiently and safely and it is so critical for them to have the resources and support that the Mission to Seafarers provides.
I know this first hand from my friend and former colleague, Robert Woods. Robert and I worked together in P&O ports when he was CEO of P&O and he is now the Chair of Mission to Seafarers in the UK. The world may be a big place, but in the end we are all somehow connected. Whether it be in the UK or in China, or Vancouver, seafarers are a big part of the fabric that connect us all and as the new CEO of Port Metro Vancouver, I must say I am very pleased to know that Mission to Seafarers is here to continue providing our sailors with support while they are away from their homes, friends and families.
I should wrap up but I want to leave you with an image that resonated with me. I remember several years ago standing on the dock of the newly expanded Qingdao Container Terminal in North Eastern China with a colleague, watching cranes loading ships seemingly stretching as far as the eye can see. He turned and said to me, “we are watching the beating heart of world trade.”
When I look at Port Metro Vancouver, I see that we are in the same position for our nation. We are Canada’s beating heart of trade.
My optimism for our Port’s continued success is strong, but my belief in shared opportunity is stronger. By working together, we can open the door to the Gateway, tap into that opportunity, and use it as a major avenue for community economic development and employment for the future.
This business is not a fad, or a trend, or some new and untested program. This Gateway represents an economically sustainable, long-term, proven opportunity for growth.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe the Port is well placed for the future. I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to lead this organization and I look forward to working with our many and diverse stakeholders to maximize Port Metro Vancouver’s potential, and to identify exciting new opportunities to further build on the success of Canada's Pacific Gateway.
Many thanks for our morning prayer. Good morning Chiefs, Elders, community leaders, and industry stakeholders. I'm very pleased to be here today in the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and the lands of the Coast Salish people to open this first event of its kind.
It is, of course, a significant day today, being the one year anniverary of the apology for the residential schools programme. And, while we cannot change the past, we can build a better future which is what we are here today to talk about.
Today we hope to begin a dialogue concerning Gateway-related opportunities among First Nations, industry and government in BC’s lower mainland. The opportunities could include prospects for economic development, for business growth and career opportunities.
We welcome around 120 attendees representing lower mainland First Nations; various industry sectors including the Port, rail, air, and ground transportation; and, government officials engaged in trade and transportation portfolios.
We are here to achieve common goals:
I’m pleased to be able to open this discussion forum where we can all learn about and benefit from each other, and I look forward to opening the door on the network of opportunity, beginning and extending what I believe will be fruitful and beneficial dialogue and relationships.
I’m going to start by giving you a quick primer on Port Metro Vancouver and our role in the Asia Pacific Gateway. Then I’ll discuss what this might mean for you. I will conclude by talking about the potential we can seize together, and how that can start today.
When you travel around the lower mainland, chances are that, if you see water, you see Port Metro Vancouver. We are one of the largest ports in North America in terms of total area— around 600 kilometres of shoreline that borders on sixteen separate municipalities. The Port extends from Point Roberts at the Canada/U.S. border through Burrard Inlet to Port Moody and Indian Arm, and from the mouth of the Fraser River, eastward to the Fraser Valley, north along the Pitt River to Pitt Lake, and includes the north and middle arms of the Fraser River.
We’re the fourth largest port in North America in terms of total tonnage handled – we handled around 115 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2008. Port Metro Vancouver is also the most diversified port in North America – we import and export cargo every day from all kinds of business sectors. For instance, we are the nation’s largest auto port – we import nearly half a million vehicles each year that will be sold to consumers in Canada.
We export millions of tonnes of Canadian raw materials and resources such as coal, potash, sulphur, forest products and grain. We handle the equivalent of around two-and-a-half million 20-foot containers that contain cargo like French fries or high quality lumber for export overseas, or imports like furniture, electronics and clothes destined for retail outlets and malls all over Canada.
Our cargo service providers and industry partners include five railroads, a container trucking fleet of around 3,000 vehicles, 28 deep-sea marine cargo terminals, and more than 50 domestic intermodal and off-dock facilities. We also welcome around 800,000 cruise passengers to Vancouver each year at our two cruise facilities.
Quite simply, no seaport in North America handles the wide range of cargo and passengers that we handle at Port Metro Vancouver. When we look at the Port, we look at a vivid reflection of, and indeed driver of, the Canadian economy. This cargo is worth a lot of money. The Port trades $75 billion worth of goods with more than 130 trading economies around the world each year. Beyond the value of the cargo, all these activities generate considerable economic value that creates business opportunities and delivers growth to the region and across our nation.
Port activities account for nearly 130,000 direct and indirect jobs across Canada, and a corresponding $6 billion in wages. These are skilled, well paid jobs and the vast majority of them are here in the Lower Mainland. Port operations deliver $1.2 billion in tax revenues to all levels of government, and generate $22 billion in economic output each year. We can confidently declare that Port Metro Vancouver provides a solid economic foundation to communities and to Canadian shippers and manufacturers who use these vital services.
OK, so what does that mean for you? And what does it mean for your community?
Think of it like this: The Port is like a mall. Each of the terminals that operate at the port is like a store in the mall. Each of those stores sells something that their customers want, and that demand keeps the stores running, which in turn keeps the mall open. That’s essentially how the Port works: each of the terminals handles a particular type of commodity — either coal or grain or automobiles or potash — and the customers essentially arrive by ship to pick it up.
In turn, the Port Authority is like the mall operator. The mall operator might construct the mall, be responsible for paving the parking lot, and provide mall security. The Port Authority manages the Port in a similar way. As the port’s landlord, we lease many of the terminals to the companies that do business there. We help build the infrastructure – like the docks and the paved terminals. We’re also responsible for parking – only in our case, we provide anchorages for ships waiting to use the terminals. We also market and promote the entire port and try to draw business here. We provide security for the port in the form of harbour patrols, fencing and gates, closed circuit cameras, and access cards. And, just like a mall operator, we work very hard to make sure that our traffic, our customers and our users don’t interrupt our neighbours too much.
So if that’s the Port and the Port Authority, then what’s the Pacific Gateway? Well, if you take the Ports in British Columbia – like Port Metro Vancouver – and you add in the massive network of trucks, trains, airplanes and ships that handle the cargo for those ports – which we call the “supply chain” – and then you also add the transportation systems that support the network — like roads, railways, airports and waterways —that whole complex system is called the Pacific Gateway. And you can benefit from the Pacific Gateway system because it needs people and businesses to keep it running.
This forum today is not a career fair or business negotiation, and our goal here is not to have you walk out of the room with a new job or a signed deal. Our goal is for all the attendees to start to understand the potential and the opportunity that the Pacific Gateway holds for you and your community, or you and your industry. Because of the complexity of the Gateway, we will likely only scratch the surface today. But, if, at the end of the day, we can develop some new connections, or see some new possibilities from interacting with each other, then this forum will have been a success.
From the Port’s perspective, we are in business for the long-term, because this is by its very nature a long-term business. For instance, the marine infrastructure we build today – like terminals and docks and on-dock rail – this is in place for 75 or 100 years. The Port Authority and its tenants plan to invest more than $4 billion in supporting infrastructure over the next 10 years. This will serve the trade and industry requirements of our region and nation, provide much needed jobs, and also ensure growth in the future.
So, even though we are in the middle of a worldwide recession, we must take a long-term view. Because, our business is not about what happens tomorrow. It’s about what happens in the 10,000 tomorrows of the next thirty years. And in the next thirty years, trade will increase. Even if we base our projections on simple population growth alone, then trade is going to increase.
If trade is going to increase, then that means business prospects and job opportunities will also increase. And that brings me back to our goal today: to get everyone in this room thinking about these trade increases and this magnitude of growth, because the opportunities are available to everyone.
So let’s look more specifically at the opportunities.
Based on preliminary long-term projections, by 2050, Port Metro Vancouver may handle nearly twice as much cargo as it handles now. For many of the commodities we handle — coal, potash, grain, sulphur and automobiles — the total volumes may only increase slowly over time. But in the container sector, for instance, we may handle three or four times as many containers as we handle today. If that’s the case, then we will need more terminal capacity, more transfer stations, and many more jobs.
Let’s talk briefly about how these three needs for terminal capacity, transfer stations and jobs intertwine and depend on each other. First, let’s use Deltaport as an example of terminal capacity.
Our container terminal expansion project at Deltaport “The Third Berth Project” is almost complete and will be operational in the autumn of this year. We’re adding an additional berth to the existing two-berth facility, which basically means we’re growing our terminal handling capacity by one-third. The majority of the volume at Deltaport travels into and out of the terminal by rail, but around a third of the total volume travels by truck.
Now, let’s talk about the Modalink site: it’s an 80-acre building project in Richmond that puts importers and exporters in the same location. It offers access to road, rail and barge connections and eliminates the need to truck empty containers among Port Metro Vancouver container terminals. In addition to removing unnecessary truck traffic from Lower Mainland roads, the Modalink site contributes to Port Metro Vancouver’s goal to provide a full-service Gateway for port users.
Now, let’s make the connection between Deltaport, representing terminal expansion, and Modalink, representing off-dock and support facilities. While the port definitely needs to build container terminal capacity to handle more incoming and outgoing volume, the port also needs important support industries and facilities like Modalink and other off-dock locations to service this growing volume. Around 50 off-dock locations operate in the lower mainland, and they’re invaluable to our business. If we used the very expensive and extremely scarce dockside terminals for container storage, quite frankly the entire supply chain would grind to a screeching halt. We absolutely need transfer stations to service the growing container industry.
It’s not much of a stretch to see the interconnection among container volume growth, off-dock facilities required to service that growth, and the jobs required to manage these facilities and this growth. The Port’s three future needs — for terminal capacity, transfer stations and jobs — are intertwined and dependent on one another.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, the gap that currently exists between our business performance today and our projections for the future – that gap is the opportunity available to everyone in this room. Today is about tapping into the gap between today and the future to secure the potential for economic stability and independence for First Nations communities. Today is about tapping into that gap for industry to expand the Gateway through innovative partnerships.
I want to leave you with an image that resonated with me and then I’ll wrap up. I remember several years ago standing on the dock of the newly expanded Qingdao Container Terminal in North Eastern China with a colleague, watching cranes loading ships seemingly stretching as far as the eye can see. He turned and said to me, “we are watching the beating heart of world trade.” When I look at Port Metro Vancouver, I see that we are in the same position for our nation. We are Canada’s beating heart of trade.
My optimism for our Port’s continued success is strong, but my belief in shared opportunity is stronger. By working together, we can open the door to the Gateway, tap into that opportunity, and use it as a major avenue for community economic development and employment for the future. This business is not a fad, or a trend, or some new and untested program. This Gateway represents an economically sustainable, long-term, proven opportunity for growth.
Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a global economy and we rely on global trade. If this Port is Canada’s beating heart of trade — and I certainly believe that it is — then this Gateway can offer you the lifeline of a stable, reliable future for your family, your business and for your community.
I look forward to working with you to build that legacy, and we can start working on it today.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and thank you to the conference organizers for inviting me here today to participate in an interactive discussion on the global economy less than six weeks into my current role at Port Metro Vancouver! I will try my best to keep up with my fellow panellists: the esteemed Mr. Dodge and our North American rail expert Mr. Hatch.
With my brief introduction, I’m going to give you a quick primer on Port Metro Vancouver and why I think that the Port is a relevant barometer for the Canadian economy in our discussion.
Port Metro Vancouver is the most diversified port in North America by virtue of the varied cargo we import and export every day. We are the nation’s largest auto port. We export massive volumes of Canadian raw resources such as coal, potash, sulphur, forest products, and grain. Our cargo service providers and industry partners include five railroads, a container trucking fleet of around three thousand vehicles, 28 deep-sea marine cargo terminals, two cruise facilities and more than 50 domestic intermodal and off-dock facilities. The Port trades $75 billion in goods annually with more than 130 trading economies. We also welcome around 800,000 cruise passengers each year. Quite simply, no seaport in North America handles the wide range of cargo and passengers that we handle in Metro Vancouver.
Stretching along 600 kilometres of shoreline and waterways, and bordering on 16 municipalities, Port Metro Vancouver represents a vital economic generator that creates business opportunities and delivers growth to the region and across our nation.
Port activities account for nearly 130,000 direct and indirect jobs across Canada and a corresponding 6‑billion‑dollars in wages. Port operations deliver 1.2-billion‑dollars in tax revenues to all levels of government, and generate 22‑billion‑dollars in economic output each year. Amid concerns about global economic decline, we can confidently declare that Port Metro Vancouver provides a solid economic foundation to local communities and to Canadian shippers and manufacturers.
Port Metro Vancouver continues to build on this solid foundation. We are in this business for the long-term. It is a long-term business. For instance, the marine infrastructure we build is in place for 75 or 100 years. Planned capital investments by the Port and its tenants of more than 4-billion-dollars in this infrastructure over the next 10 years will help to stimulate our economy now, serve the trade and industry requirements of our region and nation, and provide much needed jobs and growth in the future.
But, where are we now? We have experienced reduced volumes through the port since the fourth quarter of 2008. Consequently, we have reduced our cost base to strive to meet our budget targets, so we can uphold our mandate and deliver the planned capital improvements and expansion opportunities that our customers and commercial users need for their own business stability, and to be able to perform when the economy returns to growth.
And where will we be in the future? I strongly believe that Port Metro Vancouver is better positioned than many of its competitors to weather the current economic decline and recapture the traffic that will inevitably return to our port.
So, while my optimism for our continued success is strong, I must also clarify that it all hinges on operational reliability. While we contribute to and benefit from the significant government and private investment in the Pacific Gateway and our various business sectors, the bottom line is that we must always perform. The port authority, terminal operators, our railways and transportation service providers, and labour: as we all work to build our supply chain to emerge from this recession well positioned and to create capacity for future growth, our efforts will be squandered if our reputation for reliability and consistency does not match our customers’ expectations. While we can point to examples of industry cooperation during difficult and prolonged winters and peak periods, we must choose to operate with transparent collaboration all the time. Whether we are expanding OR contracting our supply chain, all our supply chain partners must act in concert with each other to minimize impacts on our users. Together, we may even build the most efficient logistics chain in the world, but if our users worry about stability, performance or reliability, then our Gateway and our economy will suffer.
As I mentioned at the outset of my remarks, I think it’s appropriate that Port Metro Vancouver provides a barometer for the Canadian economy in today’s interactive discussion. I remember several years ago standing on the quay of the newly expanded Qingdao Container Terminal in North Eastern China with the then Chairman of P&O, watching crane-loading ships seemingly stretching as far as the eye can see. He turned and said to me, “we are watching the beating heart of world trade.” When I look out my office window in Vancouver at the Port, I see similarly that we are a vivid reflection of the Canadian economy. We are the Port of Metro Vancouver, but we are also the Port of Edmonton, the Port of Saskatoon, and the Port of Winnipeg, by virtue of the cargo we handle every day. And I believe that the collective business efforts of our customers, commercial users, service providers, government partners and labour has an important part to play in hastening a return to economic health for our region.
I look forward to continuing our discussion during the interactive portion of our panel, and I thank you for your kind attention.
Challenges and Opportunities in the Vancouver Gateway
Good morning, and thank you to the conference organizers for inviting me to participate on this panel to discuss “Coping with the New Economy and the Global Supply Chain.”
While I speak with you today, we’re running a visual tour of Port Metro Vancouver on the screen, to illustrate the broad scope and jurisdiction of Canada’s largest port.
Port Metro Vancouver is the most diversified port in North America by virtue of the varied cargo we import and export every day, and you will see many of Canada’s vital export commodities in these photos. We are the nation’s largest auto port. Our cargo service providers and industry partners include five railroads, a container trucking fleet of around three thousand tractors, 28 deep-sea marine cargo terminals, two cruise facilities and several domestic intermodal and off-dock facilities. We also welcome around 800,000 cruise passengers each year. Quite simply, no seaport in North America handles the wide range of cargo and passengers that we handle in Metro Vancouver.
This port facilitates trade with 130 economies each year, and one of our most important trading partners is Hong Kong. Import and export volumes for Hong Kong have remained relatively stable through Port Metro Vancouver in the past five years, accounting for around one million metric tonnes of cargo, fairly evenly split between import and export, and almost exclusively containerized. The top imports through the Port from Hong Kong are household goods, parts and machinery, electronics, metals, paperboard, construction materials, and prepared food products. The top exports to Hong Kong through the Port are chemical products, meat and poultry, lumber, paper, metals and specialty grains. The Port’s important trading relationship with Hong Kong has remained consistent and stable, with Hong Kong ranking in the Port’s top five trading economies for containerized cargo for the past ten years.
While our regional port system has a long history of international trade, Port Metro Vancouver itself is a relatively new entity, resulting from the amalgamation of the three former Lower Mainland Port Authorities on January first, 2008. The Port has already begun to realize many benefits from this unique merger.
We have integrated our approach to land use, strategic infrastructure investments, transportation planning, and sustainability initiatives. This allows us the ability to capitalize on opportunities for coordinated development along the Fraser River, at Roberts Bank and within Burrard Inlet to maximize Gateway potential.
We have applied our combined resources to bring greater opportunities for land acquisition, such as our recent purchase of the former Canfor property in New Westminster.
We have sharpened our focus on river management with a comprehensive dredging policy and commitments to a ten-year dredging program and a 30-year dredge material program.
We have improved our level of service to customers, stakeholders, tenants and port users. For instance, in cooperation over several years with our container terminal operators and our railways CN and CP, we have developed a port optimization plan that details specific service expectations and commitments to help shippers more reliably track their cargo movements. We believe this type of close operational cooperation has allowed more effective response to emerging issues, and helped to maintain the Gateway’s reputation for efficient goods movement. This industry initiative to explore alternatives as part of doing business underscores our commitment to partner-driven, sustainable business solutions that meet the ever-growing and ever-changing needs of our domestic and international customers.
As an amalgamated port with greater scope and influence, we are well on our way to realizing our promise of becoming a driving force in Canada’s logistics chain as we work with our industry and government stakeholders to build a world-class gateway here in Metro Vancouver. Our focus on Trade Corridors represents an example of the Port Authority's non-traditional involvement in landside operations. Most recently, Port Metro Vancouver committed approximately $50 million toward the $225 million North Shore Trade Area infrastructure improvement project, along the North Shore of Burrard Inlet, as part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. Five separate projects will enhance port and rail operations with technical support and financial contributions from governments, agencies and industry partners. The Port also contributed $50 million toward the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor initiative, a $300 million road and rail grade separation project that extends to Langley from Roberts Bank in Delta. These Trade Corridor initiatives illustrate how building for the future with sustainable growth can be realized through cooperation among private and public partners.
Most importantly, the amalgamated Port Metro Vancouver strives to reflect responsible growth solutions by operating in a manner that ensures the sustainability of our business, our host communities and our marine environment.
Even as we experience these benefits of amalgamation, it is within the context of the current global economic downturn. We all recognize that we have difficult times ahead. At Port Metro Vancouver we have forecast a reduction in revenue for 2009, reflecting the reduced volumes through the port that we began to see in the fourth quarter of 2008. Consequently, we have reduced our cost base to ensure we meet our budget targets, so we can uphold our mandate and deliver the planned capital improvements and expansion opportunities that our customers and commercial users need for their own business stability.
As just one example, the Deltaport Third Berth expansion will add a third berth and 20 hectares of container storage facilities to the existing two-berth Deltaport container terminal. DP3 is scheduled for completion this autumn and will offer additional terminal capacity in advance of the eventual upswing in container traffic that will inevitably return to Canada’s west coast.
Therefore, as a result of expansion opportunities like DP3, collaborative partnerships that enhance port optimization, innovative involvement in non-traditional projects like the Trade Corridors initiative, and with the continued support of our customers and commercial users, I strongly believe that Port Metro Vancouver is better positioned than many of its competitors to weather the current economic decline.
However, while we work to improve our operations for the long-term success of our Gateway, we do have areas where we still need to apply considerably more effort. One of these areas is port reliability, and a vital contributor to reliability is “labour relations.” Now, let me be clear: while Port Metro Vancouver has occasionally experienced labour-related disruptions to its operations, the Port has not experienced an ILWU contract-related work stoppage since 1999 — Port Metro Vancouver has in fact experienced relative waterfront labour stability for the past ten years. However, the reputation of this Gateway is one of work stoppages and back-to-work orders. We also have a history of several bargaining units engaged in multiple sets of negotiations, which in turn present many opportunities for labour disputes. And as we saw earlier this year with the protracted negotiations involving the British Columbia Maritime Employers’ Association and ILWU Local 514 Foremen, even the threat of a work stoppage at our Port resulted in cargo diversions, lost economic activity, and damage to the Gateway’s reputation for reliability. To manage our reputation and increase this Gateway’s competitiveness, we need long-term solutions to labour uncertainty.
As I conclude, I would like to reinforce the following three points:
Number One: Port Metro Vancouver represents a vital economic generator for this region and for the nation as a whole. Port activities account for nearly 130,000 jobs across Canada and a corresponding $6 billion in wages. Port operations deliver $1.2 billion in tax revenues to all levels of government, and generate $22 billion in economic output each year. So, amid concerns about global economic decline we can confidently say that Port Metro Vancouver provides a solid foundation to local communities and to Canadian shippers and manufacturers.
Number Two: Port Metro Vancouver continues to build on this solid foundation. Let’s remember that Canada is a trading nation. The marine infrastructure we build today will be in place for 75 or 100 years. We are in this business for the long-term, and it is a long-term business. Planned capital investments by the Port and its tenants of more than $4 billion in infrastructure over the next 10 years will help to stimulate our economy now, and provide much needed jobs and growth in the future. The Port acts as a facilitator for investment in the logistics system, allowing us to leverage our dollars into greater total investment with our tenants, logistics partners and governments. Our collective capital investments serve the trade and industry requirements of our region and nation, with the added benefit of economic stimulation.
Number Three: We are nothing without reliability. While we can and must applaud our various governments’ investment in the Pacific Gateway, and we can and must recognize massive private investment within our various business sectors, the bottom line is that we must still perform. And by “we,” I mean all of us in the industry: the port authority, terminal operators, our railways and transportation service providers, and labour. As we all work to build our supply chain to emerge from this recession well positioned and to create capacity for future growth, we must realize that we will squander this effort if our reputation for reliability and consistency does not improve. We can have the most efficient logistics chain in the world, but if our customers worry about stability and performance — real or perceived — then everyone in this Gateway will suffer.
So, as you enjoy these impressive photographs on screen behind me, please take a moment to consider this: while you see Port Metro Vancouver, you also see the Port of Edmonton, the Port of Saskatoon, and the Port of Winnipeg.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Canada’s port, and each of us has a stake in its success.
I thank you for your business, and I thank you for your time.
Thank you Minister Day and Premier Campbell.
The North Shore Trade Area is comprised of rail, terminals and industrial facilities handling over 35 per cent of all cargo volume through Port Metro Vancouver. As such, the North Shore Trade Area bears local, regional, provincial and national importance. The area is also home to some 200,000 residents, many of whom live near port facilities, travel through industrial areas, work in waterfront business either directly or indirectly, or who benefit from the port simply as residents of Canada, a trading nation.
At Port Metro Vancouver, we recognize that the close proximity of industrial facilities and residential communities presents challenges in terms of the impact on the community and the operational efficiency of the area’s transportation systems. For this reason, Port Metro Vancouver is pleased to be part of a partnership that will bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits to North Shore communities.
Investment in the project outlined today as part of the North Shore Trade Area will facilitate future growth in international trade, while at the same time improving the safety and efficiency of road and rail movement, reducing operational noise, and generating employment.
While each participant brings different reasons for contributing to the program, we share a common understanding of the importance of sustainability and building for the future.
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