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Canadian west coast ports receive significantly more federal funding than US counterparts

The recent Canadian and US Port Infrastructure Funding and Policy Study Final Report, prepared for the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Oakland, reveals that Canadian federal contributions to British Columbia port projects have substantially exceeded US grants to Washington and California ports over the past five years.

From 2016 to 2020, B.C. ports received $372m in direct port project funding compared with $45m for Washington State ports and $179m for California ports.

Further, the road and rail infrastructure that supports the movement of goods throughout the US supply chain is also receiving significantly fewer federal dollars than B.C. The study found that, from 2005 to 2020, federal contributions to support improvements to port-related roads, rail, highways and bridges totalled $1.3bn in B.C. compared with $457m for Washington projects.

According to the report, “This funding differential leads to a competitive disadvantage for US west coast ports … [which] compete directly with ports in Canada such as Prince Rupert and the Vancouver-Fraser Port Authority for cargo volumes in the Transpacific trade.”

To increase US West Coast port competitiveness, the report recommends prioritising investments to accommodate larger container vessels, upgrading landside infrastructure and investing to improve the environmental sustainability of port operations.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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