Windsor companies gain from boost in exports to U.S.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Windsor Star/Carolyn Thompson


Growth in exports to the U.S. is boosting agriculture, logistics and transport companies — and might even be luring people back to Windsor — say local business owners and analysts.

“We’ve seen an increase over the past year in demand,” said Eric Bialkowski, vice-president of Drive Logistics, a trucking company operating out of Windsor.

Canada’s exports to the U.S. rose 11.6 per cent in 2014 to $400 billion, according to a Statistics Canada report. Energy products, consumer goods, such as food, and motor vehicles and parts led the growth.

Laurie Tannous, CEO of the Institute of Border Logistics and Security, said as the Canadian dollar drops in value with the price of oil, U.S. demand for our products increases.

Since 2013, the value of the Canadian dollar has decreased by about 25 per cent compared with the U.S. dollar. It’s now hovering around 80 cents U.S.

Tannous said U.S. businesses are finding the same goods available in Canada at a lower cost, even factoring in the price of customs and shipping. That could include automobile parts or food produced by Essex County greenhouses.

“Now they can buy a machine that’s identical from Canada, at 20 cents less on the dollar,” Tannous said. “It’s more viable to buy that from us.”

At the same time as demand for Canadian products and logistics and transportation services is increasing, Bialkowski and Bernard Gorski, vice-president of Gorski Bulk Transport, said they’ve been surprised to receive multiple applications from job seekers in Western Canada.

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