National Defence minister Peter MacKay on behalf of Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, has announced federal funding for new technology development at the Port of Halifax.
The Government of Canada has contributed funding towards the integrated port logistics system and the air gap system, the government said in a news release. The total cost of these two Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is estimated at $660,000, with the federal government contributing up to $330,000 under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program. In addition, the Port of Halifax is providing $330,000 towards the completion of these projects.
“A strong and efficient transportation sector is critical to Canada’s future economic growth. I am proud that our government has supported these two Intelligent Transportation Systems projects, which will improve the efficiency of the supply chain, reduce costs, and increase the satisfaction of customers moving goods through Atlantic ports,” MacKay said. “Ultimately, these will increase safe, efficient and reliable traffic flows while reducing environmental impacts.”
“Advanced technologies make it possible to improve operational safety, security, efficiency and environmental responsibility without changing the existing infrastructure,” said Karen Oldfield, president and chief executive officer of the Halifax Port Authority. “We look forward to working with our stakeholders to identify technologies that can improve operations, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. The integrated port logistics system will use a market-driven approach to prioritize solutions, define business requirements, and develop and market the technologies. We appreciate the federal government’s support of technology advancements that ensure we remain a highly competitive port.”
With larger ships accessing the port, there is a need to continuously monitor vessel clearances under each of the harbour bridges. The upgrading and enhancing of the bridge air gap system will enable the port to identify exactly the ship clearance.
Port operators and shippers will have confidence in the ability of ships to transit beneath the bridge, preventing delays in accessing and leaving the port. These investments will ultimately help reduce levels of emissions and fuel usage and ensure the safety of the bridges and will also result in increased efficiency and safety for port users.