A new study commissioned by Port Metro Vancouver has found that the current supply of trade-enabling industrial land in the Lower Mainland will likely be exhausted roughly within the next 10 years.
The study, undertaken by Site Economics Ltd., specifically examined the inventory of trade-enabling industrial land, going beyond previous studies that have explored the supply of all general industrial land in the region. Trade-enabling industrial lands are lands required to support goods movement in and out of the region, housing marine terminals and buildings such as distribution centres and warehouses. To facilitate efficient trade, these activities must be in close proximity to major roads and rail lines.
The new study found:
“Trade and logistics services that support goods movement are critical to the local and national economy, and contribute to our high standard of living,” said Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver. “Without sufficient trade-enabling industrial land to meet growing demand, we risk hitting an economic brick wall, with serious consequences for our quality of life here in the Lower Mainland.”
The federal port authority is mandated to ensure the port is ready to handle Canada’s future trade demands, in the interests of all Canadians. The demand for Canadian trade is growing, and container traffic through Canada’s Pacific gateway is expected to nearly double over the next 15 years. Trade-enabling industrial land will be required to meet this growing demand. If the current trend of a shrinking industrial land base continues, Vancouver’s port may be unable to remain competitive with other trade gateways, the region will miss out on economic opportunities and the costs of goods may rise.
According to the new study, the supply of trade-enabling industrial land in the region is being threatened by a number of factors, including rezonings and encroaching residential development. The re-development of industrial land near critical transportation corridors for uses other than trade is also a reality impacting the supply of land for efficient goods movement.
“This issue is critical to the future of the Canadian economy, considering nearly 20 per cent of the value of all goods traded by Canada pass through the port here in Vancouver. We hope all levels of government will take the necessary steps to ensure this key region has sufficient land to support future growth,” Silvester added.
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