It comes as no surprise to Canadian importers that the Canadian supply chain is dealing with a lot of strain. Across the entire system, there is plenty of notable issues like congestion, which need to be solved as quickly as possible in order for the Canadian trade community to thrive. On top of this, costs are being raised across the board (in many cases even double than what they once were) which is important to keep in mind.

And add to that the fact that operators are dealing with high penalties because they are unable to move their containers in ports at the right time. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?

However, in a recent press release by the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, the dissonance at the governmental level was highlighted:

“Last week the Minister of Finance told reporters she was watching Canadian trade flows, looking for signs of “strain” but so far, didn’t see them.”

In today’s article, we take a closer look at the press release, which also acts as an open letter, and the implications it might have for Canadian importers.


Urgency in the Candian supply chain

Having the Finance Minister declare that there was no congestion along the system after an evaluation is quite challenging, and a disappointment for many. For actual members of the trade community in Canada, like the CIFFA, there are many overt issues in the supply chain that are becoming increasingly challenging at this time.

canadian supply chain ciffa


Addressing these problems as fast as possible can indeed make a difference and possibly curb further issues down the line. Dealing with disruptions and finding solutions urgently is indeed necessary to ensure the success of Canadian businesses.

Surprise, surprise: supply chains are complex and there are many moving parts. As a result, you can encounter a lot of potential challenges that appear randomly during the process. So it makes a lot of sense to implement and integrate the right solutions fast to improve efficiencies, whether there are glaring issues or not.

“Consumer behaviour changed dramatically during the pandemic. Canada’s infrastructure is not adequate for the pressures currently on it. Canada’s “gateway” strategy is incoherent and slow. But with some leadership, Canada could substantially improve this terrible situation.”

The Government of Canada taking the right steps

With that being said, the federal government is taking action towards supply chain betterment. They are currently working on agreements with ports, trucking firms, labor unions in order to address the crisis. Issues like these are very problematic, so making sure that every problem, even if currently minute, is addressed can indeed make a difference.

But there are no simple fixes. It all comes down to adapting to the situation and narrowing down what solutions are there for this problem in a diagnostic manner. It’s going to take a while to find and implement a proper system. The gateway strategy that Canada has right now is slow and quite incoherent. However, the right leadership can make a difference and bring in front the very best results. Alleviating the problem is a crucial aspect to consider, and it does bring in some amazing benefits in the long term.

At this time there’s no new transport minister, and the person overtaking that role will have a lot of challenges to deal with. They will need to deal with a vast range of problems, and this is certainly one of them.

Still, there are vast opportunities for streamlining the supply chain. There’s definitely potential and we hope that more and more people will get to access these benefits as supply chains are more cohesive and there are no congestion. Adequate leadership and federal support can indeed provide amazing results here!




While we cannot control the outcome of this situation on a macro scale, we can make sure that our internal business practices help us along. Partnering up with an experienced customs broker can help ensure that you are getting the most out of your shipments and taking advantage of the ordinances that serve you. Click here to connect with a customs broker today!