NEW CENTREPORT CANADA AGREEMENT TO INCREASE TRADE OPPORTUNITIES FOR MANITOBA PRODUCERS
Sept. 18, 2012, Shanghai, China – CentrePort Canada Inc., SinoTrans Eastern Company Ltd., and Invent IOT Technology Inc. today signed an agreement to work together to develop new technologies, logistics and supply chain systems that will help Manitoba food producers and other businesses export high-quality products to growing consumer markets in China.
The signing was witnessed by Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who is in Asia as part of the Council of the Federation’s 2012 mission to China. The agreement will help advance CentrePort’s recently-launched China project, which involved building a new supply platform to make it easier to export into China, and partnering with Invent IOT Technology to use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and labels to secure and track Manitoba cargo as it is shipped overseas.
“This is about leveraging CentrePort’s advantages, such as its extensive reach into North America and strong partnerships with companies in China, to provide Manitoba and Canadian producers with new opportunities to sell and export prime, high-quality products including food,” Selinger said. “It’s a positive for our economy, particularly our agricultural sector, and will help differentiate and promote Manitoba products in a competitive, global marketplace.”
The partners in the CentrePort agreement will work towards several objectives including:
Increasing the number of empty shipping containers in Manitoba, which can then be used to export Manitoba products. A lack of empty containers available for export of Canadian goods is a concern throughout Western Canada.
Providing Manitoba agricultural and other producers with a new market to sell their goods by increasing the number of containerized exports from Manitoba to China.
Helping the Province of Manitoba continue to increase and diversify its trading partners. China is currently Manitoba’s second-largest trading partner ($1.8 billion in two-way trade in 2011) and the second-largest economy in the world.
Meeting a growing Chinese consumer demand for high-quality food products. China is a net importer of agricultural products and rising incomes as well as issues with food counterfeiting and contamination have increased demand for high-quality, safe foods.
“Today’s agreement with SinoTrans and Invent is an important next step in building on our efforts to increase Manitoba trade with China,” said Diane Gray, president and CEO of CentrePort. “Our successful soybeans shipment to China earlier this year demonstrated that there is a strong demand for secure, fully-monitored, high-quality food products, but that more work is required to connect Manitoba producers with Chinese buyers and to ensure that our cargo travels in an efficient, cost-effective way.”
SinoTrans, which is a government-owned agency with international operations, is the largest logistics and transportation company in China. As the only global land, sea and air freight‑forwarding company in the country, SinoTrans has unmatched transportation connections and capabilities which are critical in moving Manitoba export projects forward, Gray said.
In particular, efforts with SinoTrans will focus on shipping initiatives that increase the supply of containers and back-haul opportunities out of Manitoba, while utilizing Invent’s RFID technology to guarantee the cargo’s security and integrity, Gray added.
Invent has developed the RFID tags and labels, used by CentrePort, to fully track and trace Manitoba and Canadian products being shipped from Canada to China. Invent’s electronic cargo tracking system, which was successfully launched earlier this year with a pilot shipment of 250 tonnes of Manitoba soybeans to Chongqing, ensures the authenticity, quality and security of home-grown products.
CentrePort Canada is a 20,000-acre inland port and the first in the country to offer investors single-window access to Foreign Trade Zone benefits. Located in the heart of North America – in Winnipeg, Manitoba – CentrePort connects to major national and international trade gateways and corridors, and is the only inland port in Canada to offer direct access to tri-modal transportation options including road, rail and air cargo.
The provincial government is distributing this news release on behalf of CentrePort Canada and the Government of Manitoba.