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Port of Halifax gets CA$7M to build container examination facility

Transport Canada expects faster turn times and less congestion

Cranes at Halifax. (Photo: Shutterstock/Dissous limage)

The Canadian government is investing CA$7 million (US$5.4 million) to build a marine container examination facility within the Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia that the government says will significantly reduce inspection turnaround times and port congestion.

Government funding will come from the National Trade Corridors Fund. The Halifax Port Authority will invest $8 million for the project, putting the total project investment at $15 million.

The new facility will replace the existing off-site facility. Transport Canada said the facility, which will be used by the Canada Border Services Agency, will decrease wait times for designated port inspections, which in turn will increase supply chain effectiveness and enable Canadian businesses to better compete in the global markets.  

“This important investment in the Port of Halifax facilitates increased trade by improving the flow of container cargo to and from the container terminals and the new marine container examination facility,” said Capt. Allan Gray, Halifax Port Authority president and CEO. “This will help to improve the port’s ability to safely and efficiently grow trade through our international gateway in a sustainable manner.”

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said, “With one project, we can increase inspection efficiencies for business and federal agencies, reduce traffic congestion and reduce pollution for the residents of Halifax.”

Cargo sectors that the Port of Halifax serves include containers, bulk, breakbulk, automobiles and grain. Canadian railway CN (NYSE: CNI) serves the port, which provides access to eastern Canada metropolitan areas as well as to U.S. locations such as the Midwest. 

Ocean container dwell time at the Port of Halifax has fallen to about two days from recent highs. (FreightWaves SONAR) To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.

The port processed 507,185 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2020. The port also finished the South End container terminal extension project in 2020, which enabled the port to accommodate container vessels that have a capacity of more than 10,000 TEUs.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.