As mentioned in a previous post last week :
There are 100 containers in Montreal that are wanted in Halifax by CMA-CGM. They had applied to use Maersk Penang on its regular run to pick then up in Montreal and drop them off in Halifax. Since this would constitute a coastal trip by a non-Canadian flag ship, CMA-CGM Canada Ltd applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency for a coasting license (or waiver).
The coasting license would only be granted if there were no suitable Canadian ship to perform the activity. (CTA does not reckon costs as part of their assessment).
Predictably, CTA turned down the application, based on presentations by two Canadian shipping companies. Oceanex was one, and Nunavut Eastern Arctic (an arm of Logistec) was the other.
It is interesting to read the decision by CTA:
It is good to know that the Canadian coastal shipping trade is being protected, but it is equally interesting to realize that despite the "availability" of "suitable" ships, there is really no way to transport empty containers from Montreal to Halifax on anything like an economical basis.
There is just not enough trade to justify a shipping line, or even the occasional tramp voyage. Trucks and trains (and I do not object to them on principal) are apparently also not an economical option. (Imagine one hundred trucks or fifty double stack rail cars!)