Outlook 2012: Transportation

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By Aly Thomson

The state of the economy is directly reflected in the transportation industry — and the high and ever-increasing cost of fuel will continue to weigh heavily on the shoulders of the industry in 2012.

Photo courtesy of the Port of Halifax

(Originally published in the January 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - Outlook 2012 Special Edition)

TOPIC: Pricing, infrastructure challenge transportation

Nova Scotia’s transportation industry is vast. From sea to air, rail to road, the province’s modes of transportation are diverse. But none escape the wrath of the state of the world economy, says Brian Gallivan, director of Policy and Planning at Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation and Public Works.

“The economy needs to move people and goods, and that’s where the need for transportation services comes in,” he says, calling it a ‘drive demand’.

The state of the economy is directly reflected in the industry — and the high and ever-increasing cost of fuel will continue to weigh heavily on the shoulders of the industry in 2012, says Gallivan.

The province’s aging transportation infrastructure for all modes will also be a challenge in 2012, as replacing, expanding and upgrading infrastructure is very expensive, he says.

But all is not dim. Some of these much-needed projects have already been implemented. Michele Peveril, senior manager of Strategic Relations at the Halifax Port Authority, said the Halterm Container Terminal in the South End of Halifax is getting a $35-million makeover. In addition, a $73-million infrastructure project at Richmond Terminal is already underway and will continue well into 2013. Both projects are being cost-shared by the port and the federal government.

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Gateway to success

As a key transportation centre on North America’s east coast for the movement of international cargo and passengers, the Halifax Gateway is crucial to the region’s economy.

The Halifax Gateway Council, managed by the Greater Halifax Partnership, has its eye on a number of initiatives for 2012, according to executive director Nancy Phillips:

• The council has been working collaboratively with the province, the Halifax International Airport Authority and Nova Scotia Business Inc. to develop an air strategy which will be released early this year.

• A $28-million project to extend the main runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport will enable the airport to accept wide-body aircrafts and jet stop-overs, among other things.

• Further development and growth of the Halifax Gateway Logistics Park in Burnside is expected.

• Ongoing initiatives to market and brand the Halifax Gateway Council will stretch into 2012.

• A new Gateway Council website will be launched this month, featuring a social media strategy.

*Outlook 2012 Special Edition: Read more about what 2012 holds for Nova Scotia's top industries at: http://www.ns.dailybusinessbuzz.ca/Industry-Spotlight-17342

Organizations: Nova Scotia Business Journal, Department of Transportation and Public Works, Halifax Port Authority Halterm Container Terminal Richmond Terminal

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, South End

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