The 51st Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) will be held at the Chances Convention Centre in Prince Rupert, BC, from August 24 - 26, 2009. “We are really looking forward to our annual conference being hosted by Canada’s newest container port in Prince Rupert,” commented Gaetan Boivin, President and CEO of the Trois-Rivieres Port Authority, and Chair of the Association. This year’s Conference theme, Canada’s Ports and Global Supply Chains, is appropriate given Prince Rupert’s unique position in the Pacific Gateway and its growing international business. The conference is in keeping with the Association’s practice of rotating it’s annual conference in the four regions of Canada.

Prince Rupert’s recent growth clearly shows that Canada’s major ports are important for both the national and regional economies in which they do business. The conference will take a closer look at what makes ports truly economic engines within important global supply chains.

Despite current economic challenges, Canada’s major ports are preparing to deal with the expected growth in trade over the long term. The conference will have sessions dealing with issues such as, the Panama Canal expansion; how automated terminals are transforming the way ports do business; how free trade zones can benefit maritime trade; supply chain costs and benefits; the importance of bulk cargo to port business; the growing cruise business and more. “As always, this year’s conference has a strong business program and provides excellent opportunities to hear expert presenters and to network with colleagues across the port community,” says Mr. Boivin. He went on to say that, “Port Authorities are trade facilitators and as such they have to take responsibility for ensuring that all the pieces of the supply chain work from the shipper to the carrier, to the port of call and to the landside service providers on both rail and road.” The conference also has an impressive social program that will highlight the port business in Canada’s Pacific Northwest and the natural beauty of Prince Rupert. (ACPA)