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Special Keynote Guest: The Right Honorable Brian Mulroney 

As the keynote guest, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on June 4 will discuss the economy, trade and other issues central to Canadian containerized supply chains with JOC Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi. Canada’s 18th prime minister was reelected with a majority government four years later, becoming the first Canadian Prime Minister in 35 years to win successive majority governments and the first Conservative prime minister to do so in 100 years.


His government introduced bold new initiatives such as the Canada-US. Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Canada-US Acid Rain Treaty and the Canada-U.S. Arctic Cooperation Agreement. Prime Minister Mulroney's government also introduced a wave of privatizations, a low inflation policy, historic tax reform, extensive deregulation and expenditure reduction policies that continue to be the basis of Canada's impressive economic performance today.


Upon resigning, Mr. Mulroney rejoined the Montreal law firm of Norton Rose Fulbrightas Senior Partner. He is chairman of the board of directors of Quebecor inc. (Montreal), and serves as a director of The Blackstone Group L.P. (New York) and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (New Jersey). He also serves as chairman of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold Corporation (Toronto). Mr. Mulroney is also a Trustee of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the International Advisory Board of HEC Montréal.

He has been awarded Canada's highest honour, Companion of the Order of Canada, and the highest honor of the Government of Quebec,Grand officier de l’Ordre national du Québec.  He has received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service. Mr. Mulroney was invited to deliver a eulogy at the funeral of President Ronald Reagan at the National Cathedral in Washington (2004) and one for President George H.W. Bush in the same venue (2018) becoming the first non-American in history to be so honored.

2019 Conference Objective

The 2019 JOC Canada Trade Conference will provide information and insights that Canadian cargo owners and forwarders can use to plan and execute shipments of containerized cargo. At their core, JOC Events create value for beneficial cargo owners — including retailers, manufacturers, consumer product firms, and energy agribusiness organizations — through intensive programming that addresses key operational, pricing, and strategic challenges shippers face when leveraging end-to-end container shipping services to support their supply chains. Leveraging its editorial team of veteran journalists, the JOC Canada Trade Conference is built out of the industry-leading news and analysis appearing on and in The Journal of Commerce to deliver the latest data, information, and potential industry solutions to the supply chain challenges and chokepoints that freight interests wrestle with daily.

Theme: Getting it Right 

Riding a broader economic resurgence and the fruits of smart trade policy, containerized shipping growth in Canada is impressive, even if often understated. Canadian volumes enjoyed high single-digit growth in 2018, and another 7 to 8 percent expansion is expected this year on the backs of a steady economy that IHS Markit expects to yield 2 percent growth in GDP. Beyond Canada, however, the outlook for the global economy — to which much of Canadian agriculture and other exports are intrinsically tied — is darkening, and there are plenty of challenges that demand more action and cooperation.

Poor vessel reliability and sporadic port congestion persist. The pressures of container volume growth through Canadian ports, much of it driven by US importers and exporters, isn’t relenting. And the US ports that Canadian shippers and forwarders route cargo through face similar challenges. Port and landside infrastructure investments — and receiving faster federal and provincial approval — are just part of the solution. Understanding the limitations of funding and having begun to nibble at the fringes of what solutions new technologies can provide, port authorities and other stakeholders are working to use data more effectively. To reach its full potential, however, the Canadian logistics industry must accelerate its adoption of new technologies, from the Internet of Things to automation.

Tightening truck capacity is just one issue that improved information, cooperation, and technology utilization can help to mitigate. The US electronic logging device (ELD) mandate offered cross-border truckers, shippers, and forwarders a sense of what similar regulation coming from Ottawa holds for the Canadian trucking industry: even tighter capacity. The Canadian ELD set to take effect later this year, after all, may differ slightly from the US version, but the impact on truck capacity in some Canadian lanes — such as the Montreal-Toronto leg — will be very much the same.

Technology is key, but so is cooperation, as Montreal terminals, the port authority, and others demonstrated when they came together to extend gates to handle rising volume, much of it fueled by the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. But just as the Montreal effort is evolving as the industry encourages off-hour cargo pickup, there’s plenty of room for refinement in various links within Canadian supply chains, from reducing container dwell times before rail loadings to more strategic use of air cargo services.

That’s why the JOC Canada Trade Conference is laser-focused on moving beyond discussions of “what needs work” and bringing stakeholders together to better understand each other’s drivers and pinch points. Only then can Canadian container shipping stakeholders move forward by building trust, both in human connections and data, that’s needed to identify solutions and implement them for the benefit of shippers and transportation providers.

Now in its third year, the JOC Canada Trade Conference will examine these and other topics, with a view to give shippers, forwarders, and other transportation providers actionable intelligence and the opportunity to meet new partners to better manage their containerized supply chains.


Topics to be Explored:

  • Market Analysis: Examining the outlook for Canadian and global container shipping

  • Securing Truck Capacity: Navigating the ELD landscape

  • Boosting Visibility: How shippers and forwarders can gain better sight and control

  • Air Cargo Headwinds: Managing for speed and reliability instead of emergency use

  • Drayage Delivery: How to boost port truck gate fluidity without breaking the bank

  • Cross-Border Calibration: Injecting reliability into supply chains funneling goods through US ports

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