Demands on infrastructure highlighting the role of inland ports in global trade

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Calgary, Alberta
GTH Vice President of Business Development, Rhonda Ekstrom emphasizes the importance of renewal for economic growth

Leaders from Canada’s port and transportation industries gathered in Calgary this week to explore the role of inland ports and sea ports in supporting Canada’s trade and export activities.

Global Transportation Hub Vice President of Business Development, Rhonda Ekstrom was among the experts from across North America invited to the 2017 Canadian Inland Ports Conference, which focused on Canada’s Ports: Gateways to Enable Trade. Ekstrom shared her insights as part of a panel on “The Competitive Advantage of Canada’s Inland Ports.”

“In Saskatchewan, 75 per cent of what we produce needs to reach export markets, so inland efficiencies are critical to our economic growth,” said Ekstrom. “Our success is defined by our ability to move goods efficiently, which requires infrastructure that meets the needs of modern transport and rail systems. For Saskatchewan and Canada to grow, we need to invest in renewal of the transportation system, which is at the heart of the GTH story.”
 
The conference examined the societal and economic impact of ports in Europe and North America. The global perspectives are relevant to Saskatchewan and the GTH, which has opportunities to play a greater in other global trade to meet the needs of growing economies around the world.
 
Ekstrom pointed to the needs of countries like China, where a growing population with greater economic power is turning to North America for access to additional food, fuel and fertilizer. As part of their plan to meet demand, they are connecting with inland ports to improve access to resources far from traditional port facilities.
 
“More than 80 percent of the enquiries we receive at the GTH are from highly populated regions of Europe and Asia that need access to Canadian goods,” said Ekstrom. “Our facilities may be farther from tidewater, but they are close to resources, less congested and less expensive. By offering superior logistics with proximity to rail and road, we are building those relationships, expanding trade and creating jobs and incremental tax revenue for Saskatchewan.”
 
The conference is being held at the University of Calgary October 4-5.