Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dispatches from the trade war front lines...

"Canada poses a very real threat to us," Cherin said. "When I was in Chicago last month, the CEO of the Prince Rupert port was talking about very aggressive expansion plans and the fact that the Canadian government is pouring a lot of money into making that happen."-- The observations of Alex Cherin, managing director of trade relations and operations at the Port of Long Beach.

When economic times get tough, the need to put a face and a name to your rivals it seems is the first order of business.

So with American shipping numbers dropping along the west coast, Ports from Washington to California are forging a common front to try and stem the flow of trade that is apparently moving to Canadian Ports, with the Port of Prince Rupert seemingly high on their worry list.

A Torrance , California newspaper called the Daily Breeze has outlined the concerns from the California point of view with an article that seems to take aim at the transportation strategy of the Port of Prince Rupert, which offers up the promise of fast and easy access to the American mid-west, a portion of trade that is declining for the US ports and one which they hope to lure back to their locations.

California port authorities have taken their warning of the Canadian competition to Washington, D. C., looking for infrastructure money to make their ports more modern and more competitive and a quest that they have high hopes of receiving acceptance on.
The next mission on their schedule, is an appearance at the World Shipping Summit in Qingdao, China, set for Nov. 11-13, where they plan to outline how they hope to recapture some of that trans pacific shipping when they meet with Asian shipping lines at the summit.

While they will no doubt be selling the advantages of their various operations, Canadian officials can probably expect to be travelling around that summit with a target on their backs, no longer flying off the radar, the Canadian transportation options are clearly in the bulls eye for their California competitors.

You can examine their message through the Daily Breeze article, which on Friday night was listed as their top article of the day, you can check out what all the concern is about here.

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