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UWindsor releases cross-border shipping study


July 4, 2013
By Dave Harrison

July 4, 2013, Windsor, Ont. — The automotive industry’s just-in-time
cross-border shipping practices are a good model for the movement of
agriculture and food between the U.S. and Canada.

July 4, 2013, Windsor, Ont. — The automotive industry’s just-in-time cross-border shipping practices are a good model for the movement of agriculture and food between the U.S. and Canada.

This is one of the findings in An Economic Analysis of Agriculture and Food Cross Border Movements: Windsor-Detroit and Sarnia-Port Huron, a new study released today by the University of Windsor’s Cross-Border Institute.

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The study, prepared by the George Morris Centre, an independent, not-for-profit agriculture and food research organization, says that efficiencies in cross-border movement of agri-food at both the Windsor/Detroit and Sarnia/Port Huron crossings have improved over the past decade.

According to the study, this is in response to dramatic changes in exchange rates, as well as continual changes to regulatory oversight, border/customs issues, food safety and environmental regulations.

William Anderson, CBI Director and Ontario Research Chair in Cross-Border Transportation Policy, says continuing dialogue among the two national governments, various industry associations and the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Co-operation Council initiatives are essential to improving business practices that will reduce cross-border costs and delays for producers and food processors in the future.

“Naturally, the key challenge in the agri-food industry is perishability,” says Anderson.

“This new report indicates that, similar to other industries, food producers are increasingly using just-in-time production and processing practices to fulfill commitments to major retailers.

Crossings at Detroit and Port Huron account for 75 per cent of Ontario exports to the U.S. and 64 per cent of Ontario’s imports from the U.S., and agri-food is an important part of that flow.

Essex, Kent and Lambton Counties, including the rapidly growing greenhouse industry, are especially dependent on cross-border shipments, notes Anderson.

"We have to continue to work cooperatively to find new and better ways to make that cross-border flow more efficient.”

Anderson says the report, available at http://www1.uwindsor.ca/crossborder/publications-articles provides recommendations and next steps for CBTC to pursue with industry and agencies.

This report is also available on the website of the George Morris Centre.


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