Leveraging the Port of Halifax

Although you won’t read about it in the local media, the issue of port congestion is becoming a real problem for the North American transportation network. The rapid rise of Asian imports in to western Canadian and U.S. ports has led to so much congestion that ships are waiting several weeks in some cases to unload their cargo.

So the Canadian government has responded by investing millions into a port in the hinterland of British Columbia as an alternative to Vancouver. Mexico is getting in on the act and investing tens of millions into one of its ports to be the alternative entry point for these goods.

However, because of this trend and others such as the larger cargo ships coming on the market, it may start to make good sense to ship Asian goods through the Suez Canal to eastern North American ports.

The Port of Halifax should jump all over this trend. In the past 15 years, cities that have dynamic and successful ports in North America have grew, on average, at twice the rate of the average North American city. Ports are a catalyst for growth.

And, except for a bottleneck right at the port in Halifax, our roads are the envy of North America for their lack of congestion – basically right down to the I-495 around Boston.

A new study out just last week called the situation critical. It’s time for government (Nova Scotia and Federal) to realize the strategic nature of the Port of Halifax to the Maritime Provinces economy and if they see the wisdom of investing millions into a Northern BC port with limited highway infrastructure, they should also see the wisdom in increasing port traffic in Halifax with excellent highway infrastructure.

Or we can spend the money on EI.