Success in the West

This high-powered panel looks at logistics in, to and from Western Canada. Learn how it’s evolving and how organizations across Canada can capitalize on this economic powerhouse

Thursday, October 23 • 8:30 am - 10:00 am

Evolving trade patterns resulting from the great influx of Asian imports, combined with growing demand for Canadian energy, raw materials and food products mean logistics in Western Canada is facing unprecedented change. There’s increased pressure on infrastructure and capacity, and transportation rates are on the rise. These are changes that will affect SCL operations across Canada and internationally.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities and advantages among the challenges. Reasons more organizations are keeping an eye on the west include:

  • Transportation and logistics accounted for $4.79 billion in GDP in Calgary alone
  • Canada’s strongest economic growth is happening in the west
  • Western Canada’s growth has national and international impact regardless if you do business there

In understanding the west, SCL strategies must account for the critical reality that Western Canada is distinct from the rest of the country—and requires a distinct approach. Looking at Western Canada from all perspectives, this panel includes an economist, a shipper, road and rail carriers, and more.

After attending this session, delegates will know how to:

  • Understand how the challenges and opportunities in Western Canada affect the entire Canadian supply chain and beyond
  • Implement strategies to deal with heavily trafficked, single-lane highways that dominate most of Western Canada, which can result in logistical nightmares in event of accidents and closures
  • Cope with the harsh weather patterns, which essentially create winter driving conditions for five months of the year, affecting road and rail transportation
  • Deal with the capacity problems due to network imbalance caused by thin population density that can compromise utilization of equipment
  • Keep transportation costs in check in the face of rising demand for transportation services coupled with concerns about capacity and infrastructure


Warren Sarafinchan, CCLP
Vice President, Supply Chain / Information Services, Sun-Rype Products

Warren Sarafinchan joined Sun-Rype as Vice President, Supply Chain in August 2011 and, in 2012, assumed the additional responsibility for the Information Services function. Warren has over 20 years' experience in Supply Chain, Logistics, Operations and Systems Implementation and previously held senior positions at several consumer packaged goods companies including Mars Canada Limited, Maple Leaf Foods, Martin Brower of Canada Limited and Labatt Breweries of Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and the CCLP (CITT-Certified Logistics Professional) designation from CITT, where he was the chair of the board of directors from 2010-2013. Warren is a regular speaker at industry events on topics ranging from leadership, strategy, Supply Chain and systems implementation. Warren has also published articles in industry magazines on best practices in Logistics management.

James Zacharias
Vice President, Revenue Accounting and LTL Sales, TransX

James Zacharias is the Vice President of Revenue Accounting for Transx Ltd. Based in Winnipeg. James has over 26 years experience in the transportation industry with Transx and has held various senior management and executive positions with responsibility for finance, administration, pricing, and sales. His current position is responsible for managing and directing the costing and pricing department for North American freight opportunities and managing the business development of the LTL sales team at Transx. 

Mark Lerner
AVP, Domestic Intermodal, CN

Mark Lerner was appointed assistant vice president of intermodal in August 2004. He has worked in both the domestic and international markets. He is currently responsible for all marketing and sales activities related to Canada, U.S., and Mexico intermodal business. Mr. Lerner joined CN in May 1993 and has held various marketing and sales positions throughout his tenure. Prior to this, Mr. Lerner was a management consultant at Anderson Consulting, based in Ottawa, Ontario. Mr. Lerner holds a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from McGill University.

Mathieu Faure
Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Intermodal, CP

Mathieu Faure is leads CP’s Intermodal sales and marketing, both international import/export and domestic, markets which represent over 25% of CP’s freight revenues. Prior to being appointed to his previous role in 2010 as General Manager Canadian Pacific Logistics Solutions & Market Development, Mathieu held increasingly senior commercial roles in the Domestic Intermodal and Potash and Fertilizer sectors of CP’s business. Before joining CP in 2006, Mathieu was General Manager of a North American transportation company. Mathieu was also involved with a growth company in the transportation sector for over a decade.

Greg Stringham
Vice President, Markets and Oil Sands, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Greg Stringham is responsible for oil and gas markets with CAPP, as well as oil sands and pipeline issues in Canada, the US, and overseas. Greg is a highly respected representative of the industry who has appeared in government committees, and consulted with international and Canadian regulators to help Canadian oil and gas succeed in global markets and at home. He is also a noted industry speaker, giving well-received presentations on a wide range of topics affecting the industry.

Register to register to watch the recorded learning session


Lou Smyrlis

Lou Smyrlis is the Editorial Director of the Transportation Media properties with Business Information Group, that includes Canadian Shipper, several carrier publications, a research division and the award winning web TV show Transportation Matters.

Lou has been reporting on transportation issues for more than 20 years. His work has been published by the Harvard School of Business.



Warren Sarafinchan, CCLP


James Zacharias


Mark Lerner


Mathieu Faure


Greg Stringham