Vancouver handles record TEU in 2019 and 144m tonnes of cargo

THE port of Vancouver handled 144 million tonnes of cargo in 2019, down two per cent from 2018; and a record 3

05 March 2020 - 19:00

THE port of Vancouver handled 144 million tonnes of cargo in 2019, down two per cent from 2018; and a record 3.4 million TEU, just 0.1 per cent over 2018.

'While the sector is forecast to continue to grow, 2019 results reflected a number of factors, including trade conflicts and shipping lines adjusting services based on market conditions,' the port said.

The port authority said that with projected long-term growth in container trade, it is leading two container terminal projects and has partnered with the Canadian government and industry to invest in road and rail and other infrastructure projects to support a more fluid supply chain.

'The Centerm container terminal expansion project will increase the existing terminal footprint by 15 per cent and reconfigure terminal operations, which will increase capacity by about 65 per cent. The proposed Roberts Bank Terminal two project is a new terminal that, when complete, would add nearly 50 per cent more container capacity to the port of Vancouver,' it said.

DP World has just announced it had finalised the acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks at port Metro Vancouver from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. DP World also operates the Centerm container terminal in downtown Vancouver, the Fairview container terminal in Prince Rupert, the port of Nanaimo in British Columbia and the port of Saint John in New Brunswick.

Record growth in potash, grain and containers offset declines in foreign petroleum and Canadian forest products, pushing the port to its second-highest year for cargo volumes.

'We saw strong trade growth through the port during the first half of 2019 that reached record levels and a softening in the back half due to various issues affecting global markets,' said Vancouver Fraser Port Authority CEO Robin Silvester, reported American Shipper.

'Despite these challenges, and during one of the most uncertain years for global trade, we still saw the second-highest volume of cargo through the port of Vancouver to date. This speaks strongly to the diverse number of trading partners and range of cargo handled by terminals at the port of Vancouver, which ensures the entire port remains resilient, regardless of variations in any one sector or commodity,' Mr Silvester said.

The port said strong global demand for Canadian grain resulted in a record 28.3 million tonnes in containerised and bulk cargo, a 3.5 per cent increase over 2018. Rises in wheat, up 16 per cent, and specialty crops, up 14 per cent, offset a 19 per cent drop in canola exports, attributed to a 62 per cent dive in canola exports to China.

Tariffs and trade challenges did impact some other exports to China, the port authority said. The port reported a 37.3 per cent decline in Canadian grain exports to China in 2019.


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