Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: pulp mill’s closure could string trucking, Saskatchewan highways get an infusion, Transplace appoints head for Canada, and transport associations visit Central Bank.
Trucking companies could go out of business if a pulp mill in Nova Scotia shuts down next year.
Northern Pulp could cease operations in 2020 if its owner, Paper Excellence Group, cannot secure the provincial government’s approval on a new site to handle its liquid waste. The plant receives 120 trucks of wood chips and sends 50 trucks of finished pulp per day, according to a report commissioned by the union Unifor, which represents plant employees.
“It’s going to hurt,” said Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, which represents carriers in the region. “It could lead to closures unless these carriers are able to diversify. But they are hauling very specific products with very specific fleets.”
The Unifor report, released in August, estimates that plant spends more than C$50 million per year connected to the inbound and outbound transportation. But the domino effect would likely extend further, with the plant’s overall economic impact reaching over C$600 million per year. It also would affect the port of Halifax, which receives those 50 daily trucks of finished pulp.
Paper Excellence must shut down its existing waste treatment facility by January 2020, because it borders on the land of the Pictou Landing First Nations. The company has proposed to treat its effluent onsite and then transport it via pipeline.
Northern Pulp is also seeking an extension of the deadline to close the treatment facility.
Saskatchewan highways getting C$75 million investment
Saskatchewan highways will get more than C$75 million in provincial and federal investment.
The funds will cover the repaving about 136 miles of 12 highways and the building of four sets of passing lanes on Highway 4.
“These highway improvements in Saskatchewan will keep motorists safe, shorten travel times and improve access of our products to world markets, bolstering economic growth and the prosperity of the middle class and all those working hard to join it,” Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who also represents a Saskatchewan district in parliament.
The Canadian government has announced millions of dollars in funding this summer ahead of October’s federal election, including investments for trucking at the Port of Montreal.
Transplace appoints managing director for Canada
Transplace has hired Craig Watson, a veteran transportation and logistics executive, to lead its growing Canadian operations.
The U.S.-based transportation management company announced Watson’s appointment as managing director on August 12. Watson most recently worked at DB Schenker.
“Transplace continues to invest in its Canadian operations in order to provide our customers with a complete North American solution,” Bob Daymon, senior vice president, said in a statement. “Adding an experienced supply chain leader like Craig will allow our Canadian operations team to leverage strong local leadership to drive the intra-Canada and cross-border shipping needs of our customer base.
Watson will work out of Transplace’s Oakville offices, near Toronto. The company expects to handle C$500 million in Canadian or Canadian-bound freight this year.
Transportation associations industry highlight needs in Bank of Canada meeting
Nine transportation associations with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, on August 15, to discuss an array of industry issues including labor shortages and infrastructure needs.
“All associations agree there are many common areas where federal public policy shifts can greatly benefit blue-collar industries like transportation. Today was a wonderful opportunity for our industry and others to highlight how we can make Canada more competitive by addressing the many common opportunities across multiple sectors,” Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski said in a statement.