BC Shipping News teamed up with Wave Point Consulting to undertake the first annual Surface Transportation Annual Review (STAR) survey. Respondents were asked for their opinion on three topics that impact the Pacific Gateway’s ability to serve global supply chain needs:

– General economic outlook and business confidence.
– Logistics performance perceptions and assessment of British Columbia-based ports and transportation system.
– Management priorities regarding logistics, transportation and sustainability initiatives.

Economic & Business Outlook Brightens for 2014 – Exporters Will Lead the Way

Expectations about Canada’s 2014 economic and business performance continue to brighten. The STAR survey revealed that:

– Over 58% expect Canada’s economy to be somewhat, or significantly improved in 2014. This sentiment was strongest from those involved in providing custom tailored logistics solutions, the warehouse and container sectors.
– Exporters of goods were decidedly more upbeat about their economic expectations than those involved in either just the import or domestic sectors of the economy.

Figures from Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Merchandise Export Forecast Overview 2014 would support the optimism found in the STAR survey. Growth expectations for significant export commodities shipped through Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway were strongly positive outlook for most commodities except fertilizers.  For example, the growth forecast for forestry, consumer goods and metal, ores and other industrial products were 11%, 8% and 5% respectively. The export outlook for fertilizers was expected to drop by 5% in 2014.

Price Stability Expected in 2014

With the economy gaining momentum, the STAR survey asked firms about their expectations for revenue growth and price inflation. The responses indicate that revenue growth expectations are markedly higher for firms involved in exporting products through BC ports compared to those involved only in the import, or domestic logistics and transport sectors. Survey respondents expressed a narrow range of opinions about the possibility of price increases. The results were expressed in the category that corresponded to “about the same” as last year thus supporting the survey’s finding that revenue growth is also expected to be moderate in 2014.

Read the full February 2014 BC Shipping News article that highlighted the STAR survey findings regarding the general economic outlook and logistics management priorities for 2014 and then offer your insight.