The Vancouver Island freight shipping transportation sector is adjusting to changes in the marketplace. The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance hosted the Island Transportation Forum on March 31, 2015. 170 people packed the Union Club ballroom to begin the dialogue on Island-wide intermodal transportation. Darryl Anderson, Managing Director of Wave Point Consulting, provided insight and comments for the Douglas Magazine articleTransportation in a Tailspin that was distributed at the summit. A highlight of the summit was the release of the Moving Forward 2015 video.
In the minds of many summit participants, the #1 barrier to a vibrant, growing, competitive and sustainable Island economy is transportation. Cost, reliability, frequency, efficiency, connectivity continue as critical issues getting people, goods/materials to, from and around Vancouver Island.
What will it take to turn this historic and persistent liability into a strategic advantage? Vancouver Island firms and residents continue to question whether our geography is a disadvantage or can we employ ingenuity and collaboration to invent solutions and re-position Vancouver Island as a convenient and cost-effective destination for business investment? These and many other questions were raised by stakeholders attending from all over Vancouver Island and in the process initiating an open conversation about how we can all work together to transform transportation, improve our economy, reduce environmental impact, and increase accessibility to move people and goods more efficiently and more cost-effectively throughout the region.
Douglas Magazine has maintained a keen interest in Vancouver Island transportation issues. The 2012 article Delivering the Goods the reporter quotes Darryl Anderson about the changing nature of the trucking and delivery business and how companies are meeting the challenges of a changing Vancouver Island cargo transportation sector.
Critical Issues – Vancouver Island Freight Transportation Market
Critical issues driving the changes include the direct and embedded cost impacts of fuel and the ferry system, infrastructure improvement needed on the Malahat highway and evolving logistics practices in the food and cold storage sector.
For another perspective on Vancouver Island freight transportation, readers may wish to review the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Island Corridor Foundation comprehensive study of the future of the E&N Rail Line Corridor. The study consisted of two phases. The first phase looked at the costs and viability of upgrading the entire E&N rail line for freight and passenger travel. It also included a market assessment for freight, passengers, excursion and commuter rail demand as well as an evaluation of infrastructure condition. The second phase provided strategies to assist the Island Corridor Foundation with future business planning and identifying opportunities for the rail corridor.