Logistics

Canada Turns to Maritime to Help Move 1.6 Billion Pieces of PPE

The Canadian government shifts from planes to ships to import larger volumes of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies for COVID-19 pandemic.

When the Canadian government started importing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies from China for COVID-19, it leaned on air cargo flights — 42 to be exact. But with 1.6 billion pieces still on order, the feds need ships.

“We now intend to resort to maritime considering the volume of PPE that could be shipped,”  Anita Anand, the federal minister of public services and procurement, said during a news conference Tuesday.

The federal government’s outstanding orders include 1 billion pairs of gloves, 93 million N95 respirator masks, 133 million gowns, 48 million face shields, and 254 million surgical masks, according to government data released on May 19. Most are coming from China.

The surgical masks alone likely would fill about 635 shipping containers, according to Corey Darbyson, director of Montreal intermodal trucking company Transport DSquare.

“That’s the equivalent of a very good customer,” Darbyson told FreightWaves.

When the Canadian government started importing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies from China for COVID-19, it leaned on air cargo flights — 42 to be exact. But with 1.6 billion pieces still on order, the feds need ships.

“We now intend to resort to maritime considering the volume of PPE that could be shipped,”  Anita Anand, the federal minister of public services and procurement, said during a news conference Tuesday.

The federal government’s outstanding orders include 1 billion pairs of gloves, 93 million N95 respirator masks, 133 million gowns, 48 million face shields, and 254 million surgical masks, according to government data released on May 19. Most are coming from China.

The surgical masks alone likely would fill about 635 shipping containers, according to Corey Darbyson, director of Montreal intermodal trucking company Transport DSquare.

“That’s the equivalent of a very good customer,” Darbyson told FreightWaves.

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