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Over the past decade, transportation and logistics has transformed itself from an industry comprised largely of unimodal competitors in air, water, rail and road transportation to one containing hundreds of multinational companies providing multimodal services that combine basic transportation with integrated logistics, warehousing and distribution.


Gowlings has been at the forefront of these wide-reaching changes, serving both Canadian and international enterprises. Our national Transportation and Logistics Group has the knowledge and legal expertise to optimize your national and international supply chain solutions. As recognized leaders in transportation, logistics and distribution law, our strategic counsel gets results.


We have advised in numerous high-profile cases involving manufacturers and distributors, logistics and 3PL firms as well as air, rail, ocean and road carriers, government agencies and financial institutions. We offer clients the advantage of the Firm’s national platform with seven offices across Canada as well as offices in London, U.K. and Moscow, Russia.

We provide comprehensive expertise in the following areas:


  • Canadian Transportation Agency matters
  • Investment Canada, Competition Law and Canada Transportation Act regulatory approvals advice and filings related to M&As
  • Regulatory and litigation matters relating to the movement of passengers and cargo
  • Customs and immigration issues relating to the use of transport equipment and employees that provide 3PL logistics, warehousing and distribution services
  • DFAIT security registrations and clearances
  • Current and developing border security initiatives

Trade and Customs

  • Representation and advice on custom compliance and AMPS penalties
  • Representation and advice on temporary entry of vehicles and temporary importation of vessels
  • Advice on import and export permits and export controls, including the import of food, natural health and pharmaceutical products
  • Representation and advice on security, immigration and customs/cabotage compliance in the cross-border movement of equipment and crews
  • Motor carrier CSA certification and compliance in Canada


  • Advice on business operations in Canada, including tax-effective business structures, financing strategies and resolving disputes with taxation authorities
  • Advice on indirect tax matters, including the application of sales taxes on transported goods, fuel taxes, and carbon tax and environmental tax regimes

Logistics and Intermodal

  • 3PL commercial contracts involving provision of logistics, warehousing and distribution services relating to movement of goods within, to and from Canada
  • International intermodal transportation service

Air Transportation

  • Advising on negotiation of bilateral air services agreements
  • Compliance with Canadian aviation laws
  • Aircraft wet leasing and dry leasing arrangements
  • Air cargo claims
  • Passenger rights issues
  • Transportation business, facilities and aircraft leasing and financing
  • Air transportation infrastructure, privatization and commercialization
  • NAFTA air transportation and open skies issues
  • Personal injury and wrongful death related litigation

Truck Transportation

  • Carrier licensing and regulation
  • Cargo claims
  • Transportation business, facilities and equipment financing

Rail Transportation

  • Rate disputes and final offer arbitration
  • Rail service contracts
  • Short-line rail M&As, incorporation, licensing and regulation
  • Cross-border rail service, customs and NAFTA issues
  • Rail contracts of carriage

Maritime Transportation

  • Maritime and intermodal cargo claims
  • NAFTA cross-border vessel transportation issues
  • Collision claims
  • Drafting of contracts of affreightment

Bus Passenger Transportation

  • Bus carrier licensing and regulation
  • Passenger transportation service M&As
  • Commuter transportation

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