26th Annual Fields on Wheels - Congestion and Logistical Challenges in the Late-pandemic


Webinar details

Congestion and Logistical Challenges in the Late-pandemic

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The pandemic has disrupted supply chains worldwide. Covid testing regimes have created bottlenecks, while macroeconomic stimulus waves are rebounding across market demands and prices. In the late stage of the pandemic food supply chains face interesting times.

The 26th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference is once more, a Webinar. By now, we had hoped to hold a traditional gathering, but in the late-pandemic, we are virtual again. The good news is that as communications replace transportation, we can welcome participants from all parts of Canada and beyond to “attend.” And, with the help of our sponsors, we are making the conference available to everyone FREE of charge.

The formal program begins with a global view of the events that have choked supply chains and disturbed world markets. Peter Earle, of the American Institute for Economic Research, outlines the congestion sources of the North American transportation networks. The local impacts are updated by Doug Mills, from the Port of Vancouver, and Stephen Paul, of Ray-Mont Logistics.

“Near shoring,” or focusing on North America, is topical because the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of trans-oceanic supply chains.  New rail linkages from Canada to Mexico are being forged to facilitate trade. The CAXXOR investment at the Port of Mazatlán that forges a rail link to Centreport are discussed. Dr. Gaston Cedillo, Instituto Mexicano del Transporte will provide analysis and comment on new rail connections with Canada from the Mexican perspective.

Food processing continues to expand and diversify the options for farmers. This year is a perfect example of the greater stability local markets can provide. New oilseed crushing capacity is described by Chris Vervaet, of the Canadian Oilseed Processor Association.  Todd Lewis, of the Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan, describes what this means to farmers. The grain export supply chain is also investing to improve efficiency and create opportunities at the country elevators and transfer points.

Finally, looking beyond the immediate problems of congestion and delays, Joel Carlson, CPCS will present scenario forecasts of the Canadian grain supply chain exports to 2030.

The Fields on Wheels conference brings together representatives from all segments of the agricultural and logistics supply chains. You should participate in this packed day because you are a stakeholder in this critical industry, either as a farmer, a logistics provider, an exporter, an industry manager, a policymaker, a regulator, an academic, a student or as a food consumer.


Agenda as a PDF

8:30-8:45 a.m.   Welcoming Remarks

Chair: Dr. Barry E. Prentice, Transport Institute and SCM Department
Dr. Martin Scanlon, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural & Food Science (invited)
Hon. Ralph Eichler, Minister of Agriculture (invited)
8:45 - 10:15 a.m.   Session 1 – Catching up and Going Forward
Chair: Dr. Derek Brewin, Head, Department Agribusiness and Ag. Economics

"The Global Shipping Freeze"
Peter C. Earle, Economist, American Institute for Economic Research

"A view from the Waterfront"
Doug Mills, Trade Development, Port of Vancouver

"Filling the Box"
Stephen Paul, VP and Chief Operation Officer, Ray-Mont Logistics

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.   Stretch and Bend Break
10:30 – 12:00 p.m.   Session 2 – Rail to Mexico
Chair: Mark Hemmes, Quorum Corporation

"Sinaloa, Mexico to Manitoba, Canada: The TMEC Corridor"
Kevin Kuly, Managing Partner: Canada, CAXXOR Group

"CentrePort Rail Gateway"
Diane Gray, CEO, CentrePort

"Efficiencies of Single-line Service to Mexico"
Jon Harman, Managing Director, Canadian Pacific Railway

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.   Luncheon Speaker and Break Period
Chair: Hedley Auld

“Nearshoring Mexico: opportunities and challenges”
Dr. Gaston Cedillo, Technical Director, National Laboratory for Transportation Systems & Logistics, Instituto Mexicano del Transporte
1:00 – 2:45 p.m.   Session 3 – "Shovels in the Ground: Processing Investments"
Chair: Steve Pratte, Manager, Policy Development, CCGA

Greg Northey, Pulse Canada

"Oilseed Processing Capacity Expansion in Western Canada"
Chris Vervaet, Executive Director, Canadian Oilseed Processor Association

"A Farm Perspective on Value-Added Processing"
Todd Lewis, President, Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.   Stretch and Bend Break
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.   Session 4 – "Shovels in the Ground: Grain Handling Investments"
Chair: Dr. Brian Oleson, Department Agribusiness and Ag. Economics

"Loop Track Grain Terminal"

"Identify Preserved Grain"
Real Tetrault, president and CEO. Mid Canada Transload Services Ltd

"Canadian Grain Supply Chain Scenario Forecasting: Production and Exports to 2030"
Joel Carlson, CPCS



  • Canadian Canola Growers Association
  • Port of Montreal
  • Port of Thunder Bay logo
  • The St. Lawrence Seway Management Corporation