The local shipping industry was out in full force to wish Dave Bedwell a happy retirement on August 16, 2017. As Executive Vice President of COSCO’s Canadian headquarters, Dave’s leadership has extended beyond COSCO Container Lines to include roles on the Chamber of Shipping Board of Directors, the BC Maritime Employers Association, the Vancouver Plimsoll Club, the Vancouver Transportation Club as well as Transport Canada’s Asian Pacific Gateway Committee and Transport Canada’s Intermodal Committee.
Dave’s career started in 1978 with Furness Withy, representing Manchester Liners and Blue Star Line before moving onto other ship agencies such as Norton Lilly & Balfour Guthrie representing Hapag-Lloyd, OOCL, Dart Container Line, Shipping Corporation of India, Westwood Shipping, and Gran Columbiana Line.
Since joining COSCO in 1994, Dave quickly became the “face” of COSCO Container Lines and successfully placed COSCO on the Canadian/North American map. A passionate advocate of Prince Rupert, Dave worked diligently with industry and cargo to ensure Prince Rupert’s containerized success. “I was on the dock the day the first vessel, COSCO Antwerp, arrived on October 31, 2007 and will be on the dock for the 10 year anniversary celebration,” he said when asked to describe some of his career highlights.
Most notable for Dave’s career however has been his contributions to the local maritime industry through his work with the associations mentioned above. As Vice Chair, Board of Directors of the Chamber of Shipping, Chair of the Liner Committee, and Past Chair of the Northern Committee, which monitors all aspects of waterborne regulatory transportation issues and trade within Prince Rupert and Kitimat regional waterways, Dave has been a strong advocate in creating strategies that have improved fluidity and velocity to Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway. He has also been one of the longest-serving members on the Board of Directors of the BCMEA, having joined that board in 1998 and serving a number of terms in key executive positions.
When asked if he had any advice for those just entering the industry, Dave said that “The shipping industry is and will continue to be challenging simply due to capacity restrictions, whether that capacity be terminals, railroads, trucks, etc. That said, each challenge truly becomes an opportunity for industry to come together to engage in collaborative discussion to find and create solutions and strategy that will better the movement of goods via Canada’s very economically important gateways. The industry is ever evolving and ever exciting. It’s an industry that takes you around the world on adventures to be remembered. Great people and good times will continue to be had.”
With retirement planned for September, 2017, Dave is looking forward to spending quality time with his family (“the most important thing in my life,” he said) – who just happen to live in the sunny, golf course and winery-laden region of the Okanagan valley.