Transportation Consulting

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In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic limited consulting work to that which could be undertaken virtually. In 2021, the business and HST registration for consulting was closed after 41 years of operating as Mary R. Brooks Transportation Consulting.

This page is presented for those interested in past projects. For more detail on specific projects, use the pull-down menu embedded in the tab at the top, and select the project you are interested in.

Business Philosophy
My transportation practice focuses on understanding my clients’ needs and helping them create value for those they serve. This may range from conducting credible research, acting as an expert witness, seeking answers to “too hard” questions, running a focus group or providing corporate education in the transportation management and international marketing fields. As an educator, I delight in helping companies bring staff skills in middle and senior management to a higher level of critical thinking.

My research and consulting work focuses on transportation and global supply chain management, and I am particularly interested in the relationships between the buyers and sellers of transportation services, and how regulators set the rules of engagement for that relationship. With a keen interest in how to make Canadian supply chains better, and enthusiasm for the world of shipping and ports, I founded the Port Performance Research Network in 2001 to examine how to make ports more effective in adding value to their users’ supply chains through governance reform and benchmarking. That network has gone viral, with 60 scholars around the globe. I have also been passionate about the world of liner regulation, and am most keen to see carriers, shippers and ports balance their interests in a collegial way. Finally, since 2003, I also have had an active research program in the area of short sea shipping, as I believe that we need to move as much cargo by sea as possible in order to do our part to mitigate climate change impacts from goods movement. Encouraging modal switching, urging regulators to understand the complexities of this industry, and convincing ports to care about creating value for customers have become my wicked challenges. 

In 2018, Mary R. Brooks was recognized for her lifetime contribution to the field with the Onassis Prize in Shipping.

Contact Information
Mobile: +1-902-818-2539

Download my CV by clicking on the link: Current CV

Selected Projects by Year

Two projects, one as an advisor to MariNova Consulting, and one for the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, where MRBTC assisted with the compilation of content, and editorial support, for the Faculty Self-Study for Senate’s internal review. This work was completed in August 2019.

UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport is 50 in 2018.  To mark the 50th anniversary, UNCTAD published an RMT50 Special Issue, 50 Years of Review of Maritime Transport, 1968-2018: Reflecting on the past, exploring the future, showcasing UNCTAD RMT research, analysis and data with interesting and diverse perspectives, over the past, the present and the future. MRBTC assisted UNCTAD in developing this publication by providing content, and editorial support for the overall publication.

Two projects were undertaken in 2017, neither of which will be detailed on other pages. For one, services were provided as Advisor to MariNova Consulting; this project is complete. The other prepared a briefing document for a government considering legislative reform; that project was completed in February of 2018.

As Senior Advisor, Mary R. Brooks worked with Beyond Ventures Group (the lead contractor) and Kinetic Cubed, on the North-South Container Trade Lane Development and Strategy 2016 for the Port of Saint John. This project, with multi-level funding, identified new container business opportunities through the Port of Saint John with the target markets of the Caribbean, Central and South America. The team delivered a business opportunity strategy for the port December 2016. The team’s strength was its in-market presence and focus on trade development with experts in transportation business development in support. Dr. Brooks was delighted to have this opportunity to work with a multi-lingual team and continue to grow Atlantic Canada – South American relationships.

Labour Force Profile of Professional Drivers Working at Ports in Atlantic Canada. Mary R Brooks Transportation Consulting was contracted to evaluate and provide a peer review of this research for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Skills Table, who was undertaking or had completed similar profiles at Canadian west coast ports and Montreal. The report is now available.

Port Performance Measures. Mary R Brooks Transportation Consulting was contracted to evaluate Port Performance Measures with specific reference to measures of fluidity and congestion as part of the Canada Transportation Act review process. Click here to read more on the project background and for links to the Panel’s report of 25 February 2016 and to download a copy of the July 2015 report on port performance measures.

Freight Intermodal Connectors. Subcontractor to Cambridge Systematics Inc on this project for the US Federal Highway Administration Office of Freight Management and Operations. Subcontracted work complete. A summary report of the whole project is available as of May 2017.

The International Transport Forum Roundtable on Port Investment and Container Shipping Markets, planned jointly with the Government of Chile, examined the broader issues that influence the development of container transport, focusing on the plans developed for expansion of port capacity in central Chile. The Roundtable, held November 7 and 8 of 2013, provided guidance to the Government of Chile as well as lessons for ports in other parts of the world seeking to develop large scale container port projects. To read more on the project background, pull down on the Client and Services tab for this project, or better yet, read the report. Click on the link to download the ITF Discussion Paper.


  • A Situation Analysis of Port-related Container Trucking at the Port of Halifax for Transport Canada Innovation Policy branch, 2013. Executive Summary or Full Report.
  • Shipping Training for Transport Canada. Client: Transport Canada. May and June 2011. To design, develop and deliver an “Introduction to shipping” training course for staff at Transport Canada.
  • Port security research, subcontractor for Presidia Security Consulting Inc. A 2011 report to Public Safety Canada was published: A Study of the Vulnerability of Marine Port Operations to Organized Crime.
  • A peer review contract for Transport Canada, Environmental Policy.
  • Focus group report provided to the Asia Pacific Port Services Network; contract for Transport Canada.
  • Assistance provided to the Ports of Sydney (Nova Scotia) Governance Working Group.
  • Research for the International Transport Forum on the topic of maritime cabotage regulation. The resulting publication is available from the Research page. 
  • CPCS Transcom, subcontractor on the Transport Canada contract Study on Potential Hub-and-Spoke Container Trans-shipment Operations in Eastern Canada for Marine Movements of Freights (Short Sea Shipping). Published December 2008 as TP14876E by Transport Canada.
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