-Article by Peter Hurme, Show Director & Editor, Cargo Logistics Expos+Conferences
The entire multimodal supply chain came together at the 3rd Cargo Logistics Canada Expo + Conference February 17-18 at the Palais de Congres in Montreal, QC.
Canada’s largest, integrated logistics show attracted 2,000 attendees, 130 + exhibitors, and featured 35 seminars.
“Cargo Logistics Canada is a national showcase with several different, yet powerful regional presences,” said Ben Carson, show manager, Cargo Logistics Expos.
The show’s sponsors represented the national and regional aspects with presenting sponsor Canadian National Railroad, followed by host platinum sponsor Port Montreal, and gold sponsors: Calgary Economic Development, Calgary Regional Partnership, CargoM, Vancouver International Airport, and Westjet Cargo. Other significant sponsors included Ashcroft Terminal, Air Canada Cargo, Canada’s Gateways, Canadian Pacific, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Neville Peterson, and Unisys.
Well-attended networking functions featured special presentations by Sylvie Vachon, President and
CEO, Port of Montréal at the Welcome Reception held in the beautiful atrium of the Intercontinental Montréal, followed the next evening by Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre headlining the crowded Day One Reception on the show floor.
Mirroring the depth, breadth and diversity of the many exhibitors on the show floor, the conference agenda in Montreal covered a range of topics/market sectors, including shippers’ roundtable, rail productivity; air cargo 2020; omni channel and distribution logistics; women in supply chain; global cold chain developments, commodity and energy impacts on North America; trade with Europe; land for logistics; project logistics; and NAFTA at 22, amongst others.
Layered within the broader conference were specialized, focused summits on cold chain and commodities, distribution/warehousing, and port productivity.
The show floor also featured live seminars on both days that were mostly filled to capacity.
“For two days CLC’s conference agenda targeted multimodal supply chains unlike any other industry event in Canada,” said Tiffany Edwardsen, conference manager, Cargo Logistics Expos.
“The wealth of experts and sheer variety of our speakers and supporting partnerships presented an excellent and rare opportunity for networking and knowledge exchange” she said.
“Cargo Logistics Canada covers so many diverse subjects in one place,” said the CN Railroad online.
If there was one word to describe the over-arching theme to come out of CLC16, it was likely “growth,” which was framed at the sold-out lunch keynote delivered by Najim Shaikh, Vice President, commercial import, for the second largest container-shipping line in the world, Mediterranean Shipping Company.
“If you ask the question of what we see in Canada, the answer is we see growth,” said Shaikh, who presented a forecast for an additional 900,000 TEUs entering the Canadian shipping market over the next five years.
Other multimodal carriers, stakeholders and customers at CLC16 echoed MSC’s bullishness over global trade growth through Canada:
- The Canadian National Railway’s Fiona Murray, Vice President of industrial products, said, at the breakfast keynote, that Canada’s largest railroad would be investing $2.9 billion in 2016 alone for capital investments.
- Canada’s five busiest container ports: Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Montreal, St. John, and Halifax are investing in port infrastructure that will accommodate close to an additional 2 million TEUs over the next 6 years.
- Sal Ciotti, Managing Director for Air Canada Cargo, said at the Air Cargo seminar, that the airline’s capacity would be increasing by 50 percent in the next three years.
- Quebec’s robust $1.5 billion maritime investment strategy was a common thread woven through several speakers’ presentations.
- Perry Lo, Managing Director of Caanan Transport, said on the sold-out, standing-room only shipper roundtable, that he’s excited about the containerized growth referenced by MSC. “I love to see Canada getting onto a bigger global stage” with major impending trade agreements encouraging increased cargo business such as the landmark Transpacific Trade Partnership and the significant Canada-Europe trade deal , among others.
- Martin Hillcoat, Senior Vice President, supply chain for Canadian importer Peds Legwear, echoed Lo’s comments, saying “growth in container traffic is great, especially since there are too many [ships] out there right now. If there’s no growth in container traffic, there will be reductions in options for shipping which affects price and quality of service.”
The show offered several educational seminars such as:
- Social media’s expanding role in the supply chain
- Foreign trade zones and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: What do they mean and how can the benefit you?
- Investments into port productivity: How to do more with less
- Supply chain cost reduction
- The movement of dangerous goods
- Pharmaceutical supply chain trends and best practices
- Supply chain strategy, design, and compliance
- Future logistics technologies available now and the Internet of Things
One education seminar that was of current industry news interest focused on the International Maritime Organization’s container weight verification mandate under the Safety Of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention that is now to be enforced globally on July 1 of this year.
As of that date, the shipper listed on an ocean container’s bill of lading will be required to provide documentation that lists the verified gross mass (VGM) before the box leaves port. Mis-declared container weights have been considered consequential to maritime accidents, such as Mediterranean Shipping Company’s Napoli containership that was beached in Lyme Bay in the English Channel in 2007.
In Canada, the readiness of relevant supply chains and regulatory bodies to VGM appeared to be mixed, at best, the seminar attendees learned.
Transport Canada has announced it will conduct spot checks on containers to verify transmission of VGM, holding shippers to a +/- 5 % weight variation (in line with the U.K.), said Ballantyne.
The cost penalty of a mis-declared container at a Canadian port could range from $600-$1,200 (Cdn), but that doesn’t take into account the multiplier effect of “commercial impact costs,” from delays, demurrage, etc., he said.
Several supply chain stakeholders at the seminar voiced various concerns during the seminar’s spirited Q&A. A representative of shipping line CMA CGM said “There could be stress on [documenting weight for] 200 containers in one day.”
A maritime attorney commented that there will likely be impacts on cargo insurance and letters of credit with regard to VGM.
The container weight seminar seemed to exemplify what many attendees were sharing at the show and on social media – that there was something for everyone – whether one’s interest was in air, ocean, trucking, rail, warehousing, technology, or all of the preceding.
The attendee profile included the many owners of the supply chains represented, including Home Depot, Amazon, Sears Canada, Staples, Keurig, Suncor Energy, Peds Legwear, Quadra Chemicals, Medtronic, Novartis Pharma, Agropur, and many more.
The Cargo Logistics expo brand will continue on after a successful showing in Montreal, with the 2nd Cargo Logistics America moving to the largest port complex in the Americas, Oct .11-12 at the Long Beach Convention Center, and the 4th Cargo Logistics Canada headed back to Vancouver, BC, February 8-9 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.
The Cargo Logistics expos are presented by Informa Exhibitions, the largest publicly-owned event organizer in the world, which is in turn part of the Informa group that has a bloodline dating back to 1734, when the first issue of the maritime publication, Lloyd’s List, was produced.