WRLA meets with Transport Canada to discuss supply chain issues
By Carey Fredericks
As per WRLA’s last bulletin, Minister Jim Carr’s office connected the WRLA with Transport Canada to directly address some of the concerns we brought forward on the transportation front. Lack of containers, pricing and perceived prioritization of other product lines were topics of discussion.
On June 1, the WRLA had its introductory meeting with a Transport Canada Senior Policy Analyst and we had the opportunity to introduce this representative to us and our members and review the process that brought us in touch with their department.
We had the opportunity to learn more about their department, the areas they oversee and some of the initiatives they have underway. While we know the “magic bullet” to fixing the current supply chain issues are to get past the pandemic, we still feel it is necessary to address the issues impacting our members as there needs to be a sense of urgency to get back to normal. With the federal grant announcement for eco-retrofits, it is extremely important to get the supply back in balance as we continue to be behind the eight ball. While it’s been exciting times (to some extent) for the industry, we need to get past this and start looking to the future.
Key discussion points included:
- Issues behind container availability, pricing and the inability to guarantee quicker shipping of containers at the inflated/premium price. Profit margins on a variety of products do not have the profit margin to justify the increase in cost.
- The fact that other industries have been sequestering more containers and have been given priority.
- Concerns pertaining Line 5 and the impact that increased transport of oil through rail will have on other products that rely on rail for transport.
- Lumber thefts that have taken place and concern that transport trucks are a target.
- Suspected timeline for the congestion and issues to level out.
- Positioning the WRLA and its members as a resource to government and we will continue to be part of the conversation.
As this was an introductory meeting, some follow up will be required on the issues above. We want to be sure that the information we are providing to members and our stakeholders is based on facts collected and will provide updates and details as we receive them.
From a froward-looking perspective, we did learn that investments will be made into port modernization and increased supply chain visibility. Consultations were undertaken and we look forward to providing further details once they are made available. To access the port modernization review conducted, click here.