Containers offer a fast, safe and cost effective way to transport exports and imports. To an inland province like Alberta, containers are growing in importance because they are easily transferred from one mode of transport to another; enable operators to offer door-to-door, land-sea through-services; as well as reduce pilferage and theft en route. Containerized cargo is the fastest growing cargo type handled by West Coast seaports in recent years. In 2003, about 500,000 metric tons (or an estimated 41,000 TEUs) of Alberta's containerized exports relied on the Port of Vancouver to reach overseas markets. In fact, the volume of containerized cargo has increased by over 40% from 1999 to 2003 for the Port of Vancouver. World-wide, 80% of general cargo, measured in terms of value, and 50% in terms of weight, now move by containers.
Alberta Infrastructure/Transportation (formerly Alberta Transportation) recognized that there has been relatively little research undertaken on the intermodal freight transport system serving Alberta companies. Given the importance of intermodal transportation and the role that containerization plays in the modern economy, the department commissioned GTS Group International in association with Activation Analysis Group Inc. to conduct this study to investigate the effectiveness of the system for cargo movement to and from Alberta.
The overall objectives of the study are to:
- Describe the system and how it is used by Alberta companies
- Identify issues
- Identify advantages and disadvantages
- Identify impediments to the success and growth of the intermodal containerized freight transport system serving Alberta
- Evaluate competitiveness of the system
- Determine areas for policy discussion
- Determine areas for further study
Alberta Transportation is posting this study to stimulate discussion on how the system can be improved and expanded and any comments would be welcomed.
Readers are encouraged to contact Alberta Transportation with their questions or comments:
Ross Danyluk, Ph.D
Strategic Policy Branch
Tel: (780) 644-2663
Fax: (780) 422-1070
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