Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority
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Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority

The maritime shipping industry must strive to do things differently. This is how we will address the challenges we collectively face as port, transportation and supply chain partners. Building infrastructure at the right time, using technology to unlock capacity and decarbonizing the supply chain — these are all goals that our industry is working toward. If we are to reach these goals, we need to work collaboratively, and we need to find new ways to get there.

We expect the frequency of larger container vessel calls to continue to increase as shipping lines work to decrease their carbon intensity. The larger, newer vessels are more efficient which means carbon intensity per container is lower. The Port of Halifax is already handling the largest container vessels calling on the North American east coast along with a handful of other deepwater gateway ports. Where we see an opportunity to do things differently is by developing inland terminals connected by low or zero emission rail shuttles to maximize existing marine assets while keeping port-related trucks out of our downtown, further driving down shipping-related GHG emissions. 

In Halifax, we’re working to develop infrastructure that supports bunkering of green energy fuels, fostering a collaborative environment that involves supply chain partners including terminal operators and shipping lines that encourages the adoption of green energy vessels, vehicles and equipment, and looking at ways of expanding green energy options for the marine industry to the surrounding municipality. As an industry, we need to accept that advancing carbon reduction initiatives is the cost of doing business. 

We’re preparing for another year of challenging conditions in terms of cargo throughput resulting from overall weakness in the global economy, and this is consistent with ports and supply chains across North America. Weak global economies, inflation and geopolitical instability continue to contribute to risk and uncertainty in global trade.