Container Crunch website highlights shipping woes facing Canadian agriculture


Pulse Canada and other organizations have launched a new website as part of a campaign to bring attention to the global shipping container issue and its affect on Canada, including the agriculture industry.

The new website, called Container Crunch, focuses on the impact that shipping container shortages are having on Canada’s shipping industry, consumers, and the economy overall.

Greg Northey, vice president of corporate affairs at Pulse Canada, says, “The federal government has jurisdictional responsibility over the transportation system. There’s an act that explicitly outlines that they’re responsible to have a competitive transportation system, one that’s helping the economy, that’s supporting the economy.”

Legislation is in place, albeit out of date according to Northey, that governs container shipping lines, competitive action, how marine container customers are serviced, and the ability to investigate whenever the transportation is disrupted in the event it is impacting the economy.

If it were purely a domestic issue, there would be domestic solutions, but the shipping container industry is global in scope, and that makes problem-solving that much more challenging. The fact is, that individual countries, such as the U.S., Korea, or Australia, for example, all have a responsibility to try and address the problems that global disruption is having on domestic shipping.

“It is a two-pronged approach,” says Northey, adding that taking the Port of Vancouver as an example, there are marine carriers, terminals, and railways all at one port, which impacts all types of shipping. Each domestic player is making their own decisions, which creates supply-chain chaos, he says.

The U.S. has had success by seeing all of the domestic players come together to identify quick solutions that help the supply chain, instead of hindering.

Northey says that the federal government doesn’t see the issue as a priority, sees it as a global issue, and that it will sort itself out domestically.

“I think it’s clear now, that it’s not going to sort itself out. The impact on our economy is pretty tremendous, right now, and it’s not going to get any better,” he says.

“Container Crunch is not just an agricultural issue, we’ve got commodities from across the Canadian export world, here. Anybody who’s shipping any kind of good in a container, not just grain — whether it’s commercial goods or retail items — everyone is suffering, due to this problem” says Northey, and that Container Crunch is representing all the various industries.

The website includes shareable infographics, information, and a form sent directly to the prime minister, key cabinet ministers, with an option to send to local members of parliament, to request that action be taken.

The website is supported by the following organizations:

  • Pulse Canada;
  • Canadian Special Crops Association;
  • Western Canadian Wheat Growers;
  • Western Canadian Shippers’ Coalition;
  • Prairie Oat Growers Association;
  • Freight Management Association of Canada;
  • Responsible Distribution Canada; and,
  • Grain Growers of Canada.

You can view Container Crunch here.

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