January 15, 2010 13:45 ET

Government of Canada Takes Action to Facilitate Shortsea Shipping

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2010) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced completion of the Southern Railway of British Columbia (SRY) rail barge ramp, a shortsea shipping project at the marine rail terminal on Annacis Island in Delta. This project was made possible by $4.6 million in federal funding under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative.

"This investment in shortsea shipping will help alleviate traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase overall transportation efficiency in the Lower Mainland," said Minister Day.

This project includes a barge ramp and berth capable of handling railcars and truck trailers. The railcar volume expected to be handled via this terminal is close to 6,000 carloads per year. The marine rail terminal connects with existing SRY tracks on Annacis Island providing Vancouver Island and Coastal BC industries with direct rail connections to Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific using existing SRY interchanges.

Shortsea shipping is a multimodal activity that incorporates the marine movement of cargo between points that are relatively close to one another without crossing an ocean, such as along rivers and coastlines, and within lakes.

In September 2008, the federal government, under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, announced investments of up to a total of $20.9 million in five shortsea shipping projects in the British Columbia Lower Mainland. This represents a potential $ 41 million joint investment with private-sector transportation service providers and municipalities in the region.

The projects call for the development of specialized facilities (e.g., dock, ramp, fixed-crane infrastructure) that will facilitate the shortsea shipping of a variety of cargos (e.g., containers, railcars, break-bulk) that ultimately either originate from Asia or are destined for Asia.

These complementary projects will form an integrated shortsea shipping network that could potentially carry up to 120,000 Forty Foot Equivalent units per year. Collectively, these shortsea shipping projects are capable of reducing the number of trucks on the roads by 40,000 trips per year. This project alone will remove approximately 14,000 truck trips per year that currently use Alex Fraser Bridge, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 234 tons per year.

Contact Information

  • Melisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of International Trade and
    Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa