Logistics Industry

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Home > Publications and Research > Speeches > Transport and Logistics - Connecting Canada to the Global Economy Transport and Logistics - Connecting Canada to the Global Economy Remarks - Timothy Lane

Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada
Presented to: Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport North America Ottawa, Ontario

30 April 2012
Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be with you as you reflect on the challenges facing the North American transport and logistics industries in the current global economic environment. Your industries are inextricably linked with the wider economy: they enable other economic activity by connecting producers with their suppliers and markets elsewhere in Canada and around the world. Throughout Canadian history, transport has played a critical role in the development of our nation, knitting together the economy over vast distances and forging strong trade links around the world. So as I speak to you today, I would first like to think back to the last great wave of globalization, a century ago. One of the giants of that time was Charles Melville Hays, whom Sir Wilfrid Laurier described as “the greatest railroad genius in Canada.” Hays, President of the Grand Trunk Railway, had a vision: to build a second transcontinental rail line across Canada with Prince Rupert as its western terminus, establishing a gateway to the Pacific. Hays did not live to see his vision realized. One hundred years ago this month, after carefully seeing his wife and daughter onto a lifeboat and bidding them goodbye, Hays went down along with more than 1,500 other souls on the Titanic. Canada lost Hays’s drive and leadership as well as the financing he had just secured in London to make his plans for Prince Rupert a reality. But his broader vision of building transport to make connections with expanding markets—including those beyond our Pacific shores—remains relevant today as we consider the future of transport and logistics in the Canadian economy. It is also a reminder of the long-range thinking and strong leadership that are needed to build for that future. For the past few decades, globalization has been a central force shaping transport and logistics—and indeed, Canada’s economy as a whole. Canada is taking part in a worldwide transformation that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and created the potential for millions more to share this destiny. Never in history has economic integration involved so many people, such a variety of goods, and so much capital. Between 1980 and 2005, merchandise exports grew to 20 per cent of global GDP, more than twice the level reached at the height of that last great wave of globalization a century ago.1 Advances in transport and supply chain management have played, and will continue to play, a central role in enabling that expansion. Today I would like to focus on two main themes. First, I would like to talk about economic prospects for Canada in the current global environment. Second, I would like to touch on the longer-term implications of that global environment for Canada’s trade and transport. The crisis, trade and transportation

During the past five years, your industries have faced serious challenges. As a result of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, Canadian GDP declined by 4½ per cent...
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