This report provides an overview of the current transportation system in Atlantic Canada, identifying the key transportation issues in the region, and highlighting how the region’s trade and transportation flows are being affected by the changing global economy.
In this context, a specific focus of the report is the consideration of an Atlantic marine gateway for freight shipments. The report outlines the key drivers in global trade and shipping that are creating this opportunity, the specific nature of the opportunity for an Atlantic gateway, the economic benefits associated with a marine gateway, and the issues that must be addressed to successfully realize this potential.
The report is organized into four main sections:
· Part One provides an overview of Atlantic Canada’s transportation system. It identifies the largest trade and transportation flows, outlines the key transportation issues for the region, and discusses how changes in the global economy are influencing current and emerging transportation trends in the region. Two appendices provide additional detail on the region’s transportation infrastructure and the transportation policy issues.
· Part Two discusses the emergence of global supply chains and their impact on international trade. The implications of these trade flows for global shipping are emphasized along with key developments in marine shipping that are further shaping the nature and direction of global shipping patterns.
· With this global context, Part Three of the report assesses which East Coast ports are currently best positioned to take advantage of these trends, identifies the potential opportunities for an Atlantic gateway and the likely economic benefits. The broad issues that must be addressed to turn this potential into reality are also scoped out.
· Part Four summarises the key points of the report and places the discussion about an Atlantic gateway in the larger context of the region’s transportation priorities. So much of the region’s existing and future trade still depends on the efficiency of the region’s highway system and border crossings into the United States as well as shipments of bulk cargo by water. These other transportation issues and priorities must not be neglected in a pursuit of an Atlantic gateway.