They extend the country’s supply chains to more than 160 countries worldwide and handling over 460 million tonnes of goods valued at over $160 billion annually.

Ports and their terminal operators are essential for the transfer of commodities between marine and landside transport modes, serving as the link between the country’s major landside carriers—rail and road—with a growing and complex system of domestic and international shipping line services in an increasingly integrated continental marketplace.

Trade diversity

Canada is striving to increase its international trade diversity by seeking free trade agreements around the globe with many countries, including 27 countries of the European Union.

This international trade strategy means that Canada’s ports will increasingly play a major role in the development and growth of national and international supply chains. Canada’s strong system of ports is a critical part of the infrastructure necessary to facilitate the increased trade created under new free trade agreements.

As Canada’s international trade grows, so too will port throughput—and the general prosperity of the country.
Canada, the trading nation

Canada has recognized the importance of efficient trade movements by taking significant steps to integrate key supply chain elements, including ports.

"To serve Canada’s growing international trade, ports must have the infrastructure capacity to meet the commodity throughput demands now and into the future."

Significant public and private sector investment in designated transportation corridors and their associated gateways and ports have contributed to a vibrant Canadian port network, giving Canada a significant competitive
advantage.

This investment must continue over the long term to sustain Canada’s stellar reputation as a trading nation.

Gateways and trade corridors

The success of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative in addressing major freight movement bottlenecks in Western Canada led to similar strategies in other parts of the country.

Enhancements to Canada’s other supply chains and port gateways are being addressed through the Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor, and the Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor, which focuses on the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. Canadian ports are significant components within these major supply chain initiatives.

Port Infrastructure

Continued improvements to Canada’s many supply chains are essential as the country reaches out globally with its exports. To serve Canada’s growing international trade, ports must have the infrastructure capacity to meet the commodity throughput demands now and into the future.

Today’s port infrastructure deficit is a key issue to be addressed in the coming years to ensure they can continue to provide efficient service to the country’s major supply chains. Canada must have sufficient port capacity to support the federal government’s current and future trade negotiations. Without that capacity, opportunities will
be lost.

Canadian ports are major partners with all supply chain stakeholders, as such it is essential that their strategic role be recognized as an integral part of Canada’s National Marine Policy.