As previously reported, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has established a Supply Chain Task Force to identify actions that industry and government could undertake to increase competition, access, resiliency, efficiency and investment in Canada’s transportation system and supply chains, and examine ways of reducing congestion and improving service levels. The Task Force, which is being led by Louise Yako and Jean Gattuso (please click HERE for biographies), is consulting with a wide range of stakeholders through a number of forums, including an upcoming meeting of the Commodity Supply Chain Table, which the Federation will be attending next week.
The Task Force will also be scheduling one-on-one meetings with specific associations and organizations in the near future. In preparation for those meetings, the Task Force chairs have asked associations to survey their members on their priority concerns and issues, particularly as relates to the following key questions:
- What industry-driven actions (e.g. shifting production, new input sources, near-shoring, exploring new markets, building new partnerships) are you contemplating or taking to respond to existing or emerging supply chain challenges or disruptions? Are these temporary fixes or longer-term responses?
- What are your most critical short-term, medium-term and longer-term supply chain challenges and how can they be addressed?
- What specific supply chain challenges (in your industry/sector) could be addressed by pursuing greater innovation in the transportation sector?
- What rules-based, regulatory, or other barriers are impeding your ability to achieve the transportation outcomes you require?
- Where are the most critical investments needed in supply chain infrastructure for increasing capacity, reducing congestion and improving resiliency?
- What are your best opportunities for new collaboration, innovation and leveraging digital solutions (e.g., data visibility, digital tools) to optimize existing infrastructure, increase capacity and improve system performance?
- What are the most critical Canada-US barriers or opportunities to act on in the near term to improve the movement of Canada’s trade to US and international markets?
The Task Force has a timeframe of 100 days to produce a final report, which will include recommendations that could be implemented in the short and medium terms, as well as more strategic recommendations that would address longer term challenges such as climate change adaptation and the shifting geo-political and global economic environment. The Minister has asked that recommendations that could be implemented immediately or quickly be provided to him in an interim report.
The Federation will be consulting closely with members as we develop our submission to the Task Force over the coming weeks. As a starting point for this process, we would ask members to provide us with their input / comments on the questions listed above (even if only on a preliminary basis), and to share any other ideas or recommendations that should be included in our submission.
We look forward to receiving members’ input on these questions, as this will help ensure that our submission to the Task Force is as targeted as possible, while also being fully reflective of the major issues and concerns of the key stakeholders involved in Canada’s international shipping industry.