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Future requirements for grain handling through Pacific Coast ports Case, Alan Herbert

Abstract

Grain is the single most important export commodity shipped through four important Canadian ports on the Pacific Coast. Recent rapid growth in these exports have strained present facilities close to capacity. Therefore the necessity has arisen to study the problem of future requirements for grain handling facilities in British Columbia. Furthermore the over-all development of British Columbia ports has been widely discussed in recent years and because grain is such an important export, the problem of port development requires specific study of grain handling facilities. Investigation of future grain handling requirements relied on both library and field sources. Field work, mainly in the form of interviews with people in port administration and grain handling and selling were especially useful in gaining first-hand knowledge of the actual problems of grain exporting. Facts and opinions gained from field work were also invaluable to interpretation of a large mass of statistics that were available from various library sources. The results of the research have led to several conclusions. The most important is that the Pacific Coast of Canada requires new grain handling facilities in the near future. In addition improvements in handling are possible within existing facilities and throughout the extensive system of grain gathering which begins on the farms, hundreds of miles from the export point. In addition to the above findings there are several important secondary conclusions. First, the markets for grain are likely to continue growing in the foreseeable future. Because the markets of greatest growth are near the Pacific Ocean, Canada's West Coast ports are well situated to serve them. Second, the United States Pacific ports are also well situated to provide direct competition with Canada. If and when this competition becomes more direct, Canada will require the best facilities to keep its customers. Third, Canadian ports have definite advantages to ship operators over the United States ports in the form of lower charges for port use, but maintenance of efficiency in Canadian ports is essential to maintaining this advantage. Finally, the main Canadian Pacific ports are physically suitable for the expansion of grain handling facilities.

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