In 2018 alone, over $714 billion worth of goods moved across the USA-Canada border. Canada exported goods worth over $353 billion to the US in the form of mineral fuels, machinery, vehicles, plastics, and food products. In turn, Canada imported goods worth over $360 billion from the US in the form of electrical machinery, vehicles, plastics, machinery, fuel oils, and food products. Total food product exports to the USA from Canada were valued at $24 billion.
Significant contributors to the edible produce export segment included red meats, fresh vegetables, processed fruit and vegetables, snack foods, and vegetable oils. These five food exports were valued at $2.3 billion, $1.5 billion, $1.6 billion, $4.5 billion, and $1.8 billion, respectively.
On the other hand, total imports to Canada were valued at $23 billion. The top five food-related imports were processed food, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. The respective values of these five imports were $1.9 billion, $1.8 billion, $1.5 billion, $1.4 billion and $1.1 billion.
Small and Medium Enterprises
The above figures are a testament to the fact that trade in food-grade products between Canada and the USA is big business for both countries. Another critical point is that over two-thirds of all cross-border traded goods are moved by truck. Several companies offering commercial logistics services have emerged to cater to the ever-growing need of the Canada-US cross border trade.
Most of the businesses participating in this import-export segment are small and medium enterprises. The relatively small size of the constituent categories within this particular import-export sector lends weight to this deduction. This is confirmed by the numerous real-life Canadian businesses dealing in the import-export of processed foods, fresh produce, meat products, beverages, and perishable snacks.
A final fact about the Canada-US cross border trade is that major truck crossing points into Canada are found in the Great Lakes region. The next section of this article will look at key attributes of the best island trucking companies operating in major port cities within the Great Lakes region. It will also look at how you can go about choosing the ideal container trucking company.
This is because, as a small or medium enterprise owner with cross border transport obligations, you need to be able to pick a reliable transport partner. It can be hard to pick out an established and experienced transport company from the myriad of island trucking companies based in Vancouver or other port cities. Fortunately, there are three key attributes you can use to pick the ideal container trucking company for your business.These attributes are:-
1. Dedicated Contract Carriage
The acronym for dedicated contract carriage is DCC. The term refers to a transportation business practice whereby a transport company assigns several trucks in its fleet to the exclusive use of a single client.
A DCC arrangement allows a small business enterprise to acquire a dedicated fleet of trucks without the additional cost of fleet and driver maintenance. Several island trucking companies within Canada avail this transport option to small and medium enterprises.
2. One-Stop Solutions
Major Island trucking companies can provide a wide range of solutions to small and medium enterprises. The ideal trucking company for your business should be able to offer transportation, warehousing, and distribution services as part of the single package. Some companies even provide co-packing, repacking, display, and kitting options for various products, including fresh produce, snacks, and processed foods.
3. Affiliate and Nation-wide Network
The ideal transportation company for your business should have an extensive carrier network locally. Such a network will make it possible to efficiently deliver your products to any destination within Canada. Furthermore, the transport company should have an affiliate network in the US. Such an affiliate network would eliminate the costs of contracting multiple transport companies to transport the same shipment of goods.
An emerging enterprise in the import-export business can avoid colossal fleet management and maintenance costs by procuring the services of an established container trucking company. The transport company then caters to all the transport, warehousing and distribution needs of the business.