CFA in the News: People and technology featured at Canadian Ferry Association annual conference

BC Shipping News - September 19, 2017

Excitement builds for CFA conference

The annual Canadian Ferry Association conference is just days away, this year happening on Canada’s east coast in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“This conference has become the premiere event for Canada’s ferry industry and once again we are looking forward to a fantastic line-up of speakers and exhibitors,” says Canadian Ferry Association CEO Serge Buy.

Every year, this is the place where Canadian owners, operators and government officials gather to network, hear sector updates, review regulations and also look ahead to the future.

This year, the theme is Charting Our Course: The People and Technology of Tomorrow’s Ferries. It will feature important discussions on the people and the innovation that will sustain the sector for years to come – and it will once again be home to a sold-out exhibitor showcase with leading products and services from industry suppliers from around the world.

“Our sector is growing and owners and operators are embracing new and emerging technology like never before, often benefitting the environment along the way,” says Mr. Buy.

As part of the technology segment, experts will be presenting on a variety of topics such as hybrid electric power systems, digitalization for the ferry industry and even the growing interest in methanol as fuel.

As a keynote at the event, the new President and CEO of BC Ferries, Mark Collins, will present the vision for BC Ferries’ growth and development over the next five years. He will speak about their strategies for modern customer experiences, safe and efficient operations, environmental and social governance leadership, motivated and productive employees, diversified revenues and prudent capital investment.

The technology sessions will invite excitement about the future for ferries – but there is another equally important theme that looms large for the industry.

“The ferry sector is on the cusp of an unprecedented skills shortage,” confirms Mr. Buy.

Captains, crew and other experienced workers are preparing to retire in the next 5-10 years– and in droves. When they look behind them, there isn’t a long line of new, young, freshly trained employees to fill their vacancies.

The CFA Conference will also look at workforce strategies – from engaging Indigenous communities to embracing Millennials.

As is a tradition at the Canadian Ferry Association conference, one of the most popular sessions will be the owner/operator panel, where senior representatives speak openly about upcoming plans for fleet renewal, new vessel purchases and maintenance.

The annual Canadian Ferry Association conference is being held from Sept 24-26. The event closes off with a gala dinner featuring remarks from the city’s Mayor and a raffle for a local charity.

More information and registration is available at

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