Saturday, July 25, 2015

Port Stats Down -again, but there is (hidden) good news

The Port of Halifax has issued its most recent cargo statistics and it shows a drop in container traffic again, but does confirm that the G6 Alliance is adding a port call and another line will start to call here (the line is not named).

The drop in container traffic should not come as a surprise in view of changing world trade patterns, a near-recession in Canada, the low state of Canada's dollar and the ferocious winter we had.

None of these issues are the fault of the Port of Halifax and it is a little unfair for the press (official and unofficial) to land all the blame on the Halifax Port Authority, and to criticize the bonuses paid to certain employees.

Any organization can improve itself, but the bonuses paid to key employees are incentives intended to encourage, despite discouraging outcomes, not just as a reward for results.

Persuading the G6 and the other line to add Halifax port calls may have been as the result of the Port Authority's marketing effort and the efficiencies and performance of the port itself and its 'partners' such as CN, labour unions, trucking, etc., or to totally unrelated factors.

The increase in break bulk traffic through the newly expanded Richmond Terminal (Pier 9C) is also good news and seems to confirm the good sense in making that investment.

It does seem to be a case of blame the messenger on the part of those who gleefully report bad news and willfully belittle good news, and very little concern about an equitable balance.

Now if they could just do something interesting with the grain elevator - how about some fresh paint, some colorful lighting and even some projected images?


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