Ship­ping So­lu­tions

In­no­va­tions and drive mark an evolv­ing in­dus­try

BC Business Magazine - - Cargo & Logistics -

Com­pe­ti­tion in the com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial trans­porta­tion realm in Canada is more fierce than ever thanks to tech­nol­ogy that al­lows new­com­ers to the bro­ker­age busi­ness to have ac­cess to a vast net­work of ship­pers and, of course, a grow­ing num­ber of clients de­mand­ing fast de­liv­ery with com­pre­hen­sive and trans­par­ent track­ing.

Only one thing is cer­tain in this tu­mul­tuous en­vi­ron­ment: car­ri­ers and bro­kers with the best rates and ser­vice will grow quickly and dom­i­nate re­gional mar­kets.

C&D Lo­gis­tics is a prime ex­am­ple of a bro­ker­age that be­gan in 1999 as a home­based busi­ness that moved LTL (less than load) and full-load freight by rail and road, and it has rapidly grown to spe­cial­ize in the move­ment of all types of freight on all types of equip­ment through­out North Amer­ica and abroad.

Co-founder Dana Mathe­son says: “We ob­vi­ously don’t have a prob­lem with busi­nesses that start in one’s own home, but there are so many peo­ple to­day lit­er­ally work­ing out of their bed­rooms who aren’t in­sured and are not able to han­dle the com­plex­i­ties of trans­porta­tion, so clients have to be aware of who they are deal­ing with.”

In ad­di­tion to Mathe­son be­ing in the trans­porta­tion game for close to 20 years, his fa­ther and co-founder Bruce Mathe­son, who re­tired in 2005, had been work­ing in the field since the mid 1960s. “That acu­men makes all the dif­fer­ence,” says Dana. “We know who the re­li­able ship­pers are, and be­cause we’ve been do­ing busi­ness with them for decades we of­fer grand­fa­thered pric­ing from re­la­tion­ships built well over 20 years ago.”

Con­cur­rent with the years of ex­pe­ri­ence has been the in­formed evo­lu­tion of op­er­a­tions. To pro­vide such a wide scope of ship­ping ser­vices, C&D has grown to in­clude fully staffed de­part­ments such as lo­gis­tics, in­ter­na­tional freight, spe­cial projects, and much more.

In ad­di­tion, C&D is in­ter­na­tion­ally cer­ti­fied; this com­bined with other at­tributes has re­sulted in the com­pany in 2016 achiev­ing a com­ple­tion rate of 5,000 cus­tomers and 100,000 ship­ments.

Will­son fo­cuses on ser­vice

Since 1918, Will­son In­ter­na­tional has sim­pli­fied North Amer­i­can and in­ter­na­tional trade with client-fo­cused cus­toms bro­ker­age and lo­gis­tics so­lu­tions. It has ser­vice lo­ca­tions at ma­jor gate­ways along the Canada-u.s. bor­der, in ad­di­tion to trusted lo­gis­tics part­ners around the world.

Will­son’s com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage de­rives from not only be­ing a trans­porta­tion lo­gis­tics spe­cial­ist, but also a cus­toms bro­ker.

“This re­sults in a much quicker shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion than you find in the stan­dard trans­porta­tion busi­ness model, as well as the clear lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that clients re­quire as they seek trans­parency in all busi­ness deal­ings,” says Michael Chisholm, Will­son’s vice-president and gen­eral man­ager, lo­gis­tics.

The com­bi­na­tion of cus­toms and lo­gis­tics so­lu­tions en­ables Will­son to nav­i­gate pro­cesses and reg­u­la­tions to iden­tify the best op­tions that meet the needs of im­porters and ex­porters.

This—along with Will­son’s state-of-theart tech­nol­ogy that fa­cil­i­tates real-time in­for­ma­tion, web por­tals, cus­tom­ized so­lu­tions, and thor­oughly trained client ser­vice spe­cial­ists—has made it the go-to com­pany for the food, steel, pro­duce, flo­ral, and au­to­mo­tive sec­tors.

“Will­son en­tered the B.C. mar­ket in June 2015 and our growth has been so strong that we now have seven staff and, in ad­di­tion to our Rich­mond of­fice, this month we are open­ing a sec­ond of­fice in Sur­rey,” he says.

Chisholm, who guar­an­tees that clients can di­rectly ac­cess staff to in­quire about ship­ments or make last-minute changes, says: “We op­er­ate at a time when in­tense com­pe­ti­tion com­pels many car­ri­ers to knock down their rates to get busi­ness and clients, in turn, wind up spend­ing more money in their quest to get the low­est rates. By con­trast, we fo­cus on cus­tomers who want an ad­di­tional level of ser­vice, na­tion­ally, in­ter­na­tion­ally and cross-bor­der.”

With the ge­o­graph­i­cal ad­van­tage of Van­cou­ver be­ing a port city and its prox­im­ity to Asia, YVR is a key hub for Air Canada Cargo for the Asia Pa­cific air-freight mar­ket.

When asked to de­scribe busi­ness in 2017, Jo­hanne Cadorette, man­ager, mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Air Canada Cargo, says: “In the third quar­ter of this year, Air Canada Cargo saw a 38-per-cent, year-over-year growth in rev­enue—which is phe­nom­e­nal. Air Canada has been in a pe­riod of sig­nif­i­cant and un­par­al­leled growth over the last few years, with many new in­ter­na­tional routes added. The air­line has also in­vested in mod­ern­iz­ing its fleet. This, in turn, greatly ben­e­fits cargo, as new air­craft such as the 787 Dream­liner with greater fuel ef­fi­ciency and uplift com­ple­ment the 777 fleet, with its in­creased ca­pac­ity and range.”

She adds: “With bet­ter air­craft de­ployed on a grow­ing global net­work, Air Canada Cargo is poised to play a sig­nif­i­cant role as air freight glob­ally con­tin­ues its up­ward swing in vol­umes.”

Ty­mac ex­pands ser­vice

An­other form of trans­port is pro­vided by Ty­mac, which was launched in 1930 to trans­port work­ers, campers, and sup­plies around Van­cou­ver’s har­bour, and quickly grew to spe­cial­ize in the trans­porta­tion of ships’ pi­lots, agents, and crew along with cargo to and from an­chor­age and shore.

Since 1989, Ty­mac has of­fered a ser­vice whose de­mand has sky­rock­eted: the trans­porta­tion of waste from cruise ships and other ves­sels to re­gional re­cy­cling cen­tres. “In sim­ple terms, we have a two-man crew on a barge with a fork­lift that takes all the waste—which has been pack­aged on pal­lets—from the ship to the barge,” says Stephen Hnatko, Ty­mac’s direc­tor, mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

An im­pres­sive 99.8 per cent of the waste col­lected is re­cy­clable, and the small per­cent­age that isn’t is sent to waste-to-en­ergy fa­cil­i­ties in Greater Van­cou­ver. “There, the waste is turned into en­ergy that is put on the grid, and the re­main­ing ash is used for top­soil,” says Hnatko.

Ty­mac is cur­rently ex­pand­ing its ca­pac­ity to help process liq­uid waste, in­clud­ing sewage as well as oil-con­tam­i­nated wa­ter. If that’s not green enough, Ty­mac is also heav­ily en­gaged in tak­ing

dis­carded cruise-ship items, such as deck chairs and ex­er­cise equip­ment, and do­nat­ing them to char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions. “Due to pas­sen­gers want­ing the lat­est in fur­ni­ture and equip­ment, these items are dis­carded with ab­so­lutely noth­ing wrong with them, so we gladly ac­cept them,” ex­plains Hnatko.

And in the spirit of shar­ing its en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­per­tise, Ty­mac has in-house en­vi­ron­men­tal man­agers who con­duct walk-throughs on ships to show crews how to be more ef­fi­cient and work to­ward be­com­ing a zero-land­fill ves­sel.

Spirit of in­no­va­tion

From bro­kers to re­cy­clers, those in­volved in the trans­porta­tion of goods re­flect a spirit of in­no­va­tion and drive that char­ac­ter­izes the in­dus­try in the 21st cen­tury; and this pleases Robert Lewis-Man­ning, president of the Cham­ber of Ship­ping of B.C. “How­ever, there’s so much growth in the wake of the re­ces­sion that the sup­ply chain is be­com­ing con­gested, so it’s our job to con­tinue to lobby for bet­ter ef­fi­cien­cies and trans­parency,” he says.

Since 1923, the Cham­ber has been the rep­re­sen­ta­tive voice of the ma­rine in­dus­try on Canada’s West Coast with its wide di­ver­sity of ship­ping-re­lated in­ter­ests and a mem­ber­ship that in­cludes in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic ship own­ers, ferry op­er­a­tors, ves­sel agen­cies, cargo in­ter­ests, ter­mi­nal in­ter­ests, cruise lines, and port au­thor­i­ties.

Safety is an­other baili­wick for the Cham­ber and some­thing it is pay­ing spe­cial at­ten­tion to as more and more clients rely on wa­ter­borne trans­port to ful­fill their busi­ness needs.

“We have con­sid­er­able op­ti­mism for the fu­ture, hav­ing ended 2017 with a good uti­liza­tion of our as­sets and mov­ing to­ward at full ca­pac­ity,” says Lewis-man­ning. “There­fore, ac­com­pa­ny­ing this must be a con­tin­ued fo­cus on safety as well as good en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tises—in or­der to make the most of what lies ahead.”

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