Sunday, March 23, 2008

Federal Government puts 1.5 million dollars into Port Alberta

The Federal Government is jumping into an Alberta trade initiative that plans on making good use of the transportation corridor between Edmonton and Prince Rupert.

The 1.5 million, announced by Western Economic Diversification Minister Rona Ambrose on Thursday is set to launch the project that will develop a major warehousing and air, road and rail distribution hub linking Asia and North America through the port of Prince Rupert.

Designed by the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, Edmonton Airports and Edmonton Economic Development Corp, the idea of a Port Alberta has been discussed many times by visitors from Alberta who have explored the opportunities that the Port of Prince Rupert provides. They hope that by tying the Port Alberta idea in with the access to Prince Rupert, that Edmonton becomes a transportation hub for Western Canada.

It will provide a valuable launching site for exports out of Alberta, increasing the load of containers bound for Prince Rupert, a number of which still return for shipment to Asia as empty, the new Port Alberta concept will help to boost the number of full containers travelling westbound in the future.

The Edmonton Sun featured a full report on the initiative in their paper on Friday.

Feds give $1.5 million for Port Alberta
Goal is to turn region into inland trade and transportation hub
The Edmonton Journal
Saturday, March 22, 2008

EDMONTON - The federal government has anted up $1.5 million to help launch Edmonton's Port Alberta project.

Western Economic Diversification Minister Rona Ambrose said developing Edmonton as a major inland trade and transportation hub is one of her priorities, and the money will help fund an industry-led council to bring it to reality.

The goal of the initiative led by Edmonton Airports, Edmonton Economic Development Corp., and Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is to develop a major warehousing and air, road and rail distribution hub linking Asia and North America through the port of Prince Rupert.

Prince Rupert's new container port, which opened last September, is 58 hours closer to Shanghai than any other North American port.

Edmonton Airports CEO Reg Milley said Edmonton is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the "tsunami" of trade coming from China to North America.

The new funding is vital in the international airport becoming a key cargo processing centre capable of hosting multiple modes of transportation, he said.
It will be a designated trans-shipment zone so imported goods can move to export without traditional tariffs.

"Onsite warehouse and logistics facilities will serve North America's growing trade through NAFTA and with Asia and Europe," Milley said.

The inland port will also help move goods faster from Canada to Asia, and chamber president Martin Salloum said westbound rail containers already are 36-per-cent full when 90 per cent were expected to be going back empty at this point.

"Twenty years from now, residents of the capital region will see a more diverse, dynamic economy. In an ever-changing global environment, the communities that will survive over the long run are those can effectively work together towards a common goal."

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