From the Globe and Mail

Big investments in both rail and marine infrastructure will be required to accommodate an acceleration in commodities shipments, particularly oil, over the next decade, says the Conference Board of Canada.

In a report released Thursday, the agency said annual tonnage of commodities shipped by rail will grow more quickly than in the past, rising 30 per cent to 260 million tonnes by 2025, up from 200 million tonnes in 2011.

The Conference Board said Canada’s shifting trade patterns are putting additional pressure on the country’s railways and ports to meet the growing demand for Canadian commodities.

Wheat, forest and energy products, especially crude oil, are expected to be the main growth drivers, with rising exports bound for Europe and Asia.

“Improving the performance of Canada’s transportation supply chain is essential to ensure that Canadian exports remain competitive in the global marketplace,” said the 135-page report, which didn’t put an estimate on the cost of upgrades.

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