Canada has announced a plan to extend the NAFTA Superhighway network north in a way that would finish a continental grid designed to accommodate an anticipated tsunami of containers from China and the Far East.
The Canadian Intelligent Super Corridor, or CISCOR, is a national transportation route designed to reach from the West Coast ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert to Montreal and Halifax.
Yet, the CISCOR case study provides strong evidence that the continent’s ports, highways and rail lines are being reconfigured into an inter-modal system emphasizing technological logistics and “inland smart ports” designed to meet the demands of world trade, largely driven by the relocation of North American manufacturing to China.
Inter-modal is a transportation economics reference to containers that can be transported on several different modes of transportation, including container ships, trucks and trains, without having to be unloaded or repacked.
According to the CISCOR website, the Saskatchewan-based CISCOR Inland Port Network of the cities of Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw is designed to serve “as the central logistics and coordination hub, creating a Canadian east-west land bridge connecting three major North American north-south corridors: North America’s SuperCorridor, or NASCO, the Canada-America-Mexico Corridor, or CANAMEX, and the River of Trade Corridor Coalition.”
A multi-color North American continental map on the CISCOR website leaves no doubt the Canadian super corridor is designed to interface with the NAFTA Superhighway, extending down into Mexico.
The CISCOR map strongly models the continental map displayed by NASCO on the trade group’s website in 2005.
The CISCOR website confirms an earlier WND report documenting the Canadian national transportation plan to open Prince Rupert and Vancouver as deep-water ports capable of handling the new class of 12,500 container-capacity post-Panamax ships now being built for China.
The CISCOR strategy falls under the umbrella of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative as defined by Transport Canada, the Canadian counterpart to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
WND previously documented how the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railroads are included in Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, positioned to operate as NAFTA railroads.
The CISCOR website cites the University of Texas Center for Transportation research to define an inland port as follows: “An Inland Port is a physical site located away from traditional land, air and coastal borders with the vision to facilitate and process international trade through strategic investment in multi-modal transportation assets and by promoting value-added services as goods move through the supply chain.”
The plan to make the Saskatchewan cities an inland port centers on utilizing the West Coast deep-water ports in British Columbia as the input point for millions of containers from China and the Far East.
American companies have taken advantage of cheap labor in China that in some cases functions at slave or near-slave levels. Communist Chinese prison camps also continue to make goods for the U.S. market, despite human rights pressure.
Reconfiguring the transportation infrastructure of North America into NAFTA Superhighways or Super Corridors drastically reduces the cost of transporting the containers from China
A quick look at the continental map shows the physical location of the Saskatchewan cities qualifies them to be an “inland port” because the area can function as a switching center, with easy access either to CANAMEX or to what NASCO refers to as the NASCO Corridor, the complex of Interstate Highways 35, 29 and 94.
Containers can be unloaded by crane in Saskatchewan and placed in giant warehouses. There they await pick-up by truck or train to be transported to the next regional warehouse for delivery to the final destination in North America.
An inland port is considered to be a “smart port” when technology – such as Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID systems – are utilized to facilitate customs clearance, security, warehouse distribution, multi-modal trans-load operations, empty container management and advanced container logistics tracking.
As WND reported, the Chinese ports management firm, Hutchison Ports Holdings, is working with Lockheed Martin in a joint venture with NASCO to place RFID sensors along I-35 to track inter-modal containers from China that enter North America through the Mexican ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo.
An 87-page business analysis archived on the CISCOR website lays out the case for developing Saskatchewan as an Inland SmartPort in the following points that begin the report’s Executive Summary:
- A majority of the new containerships entering the world fleet in the next five years will be post-Panamax vessels ready to transport cargo from China, Southeast Asia and India to North American ports already strained with capacity.
- The Panama Canal is approaching operational capacity and the U.S. transportation network is struggling to meet the predicted 15 percent annual rise in Asian container traffic.
- In response to the rapid growth in North American trade, the shift in the global freight supply chain and the increased congestion at U.S. ports and along the inter-modal system, shippers are now routing a growing share of cargo via Canadian ports.
The CISCOR business report Executive Summary concludes, “Canada can serve as the North American gateway at the intersection of three powerful and shifting trade networks – the north-south North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the European-NAFTA, and the highly-utilized trans-Pacific route.”
“The desired result is a fully-integrated, seamless cargo transport corridor moving cargo from the ports to rail and highways and to an inland port logistics center that serves all North American markets,” the CISCOR Executive Summary concludes.
To open the connection to the European Union, CISCOR envisions extending the Canadian Intermodal Network to the east coast port of Halifax.
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