The Canadian port handled 24.1 million metric tons of cargo in 2017, beating 2016 figures by 28 percent and exceeding the previous record high of 23 million metric tons that was set in 2013.
Cargo moving through the Port of Prince Rupert hit a record in 2017, totaling 24.1 million metric tons, with growth fueled by a 26 percent increase in its intermodal container business and higher dry bulk cargo volumes, the port revealed Wednesday.
Located in the West Coast province of British Columbia, the Port of Prince Rupert is Canada’s third busiest seaport by container volumes, trailing behind the ports of Vancouver and Montreal. An estimated $35 billion of trade is shipped through the Port of Prince Rupert annually.
According to port statistics, the port’s overall tonnage last year exceeded the previous record high of 23 million metric tons that was set in 2013, and was up 28 percent from 2016.
“The increasingly diversified nature of the gateway, combined with terminal expansion and the introduction of new logistics services, is paying dividends,” Prince Rupert Port Authority Chair Bud Smith explained. “The Port of Prince Rupert remains well-positioned to accommodate growth of Canadian trade in the Asia-Pacific region, and we continue to advance expansion that will see us become Canada’s second largest port by volume in the next decade.”
Among the port’s highlights in 2017 were DP World’s completed expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal, increasing annual throughput capacity by 60 percent and enabling the terminal to move 926,540 TEUs.
Also, the port’s bulk-handling Ridley Terminals facility, specializing in the shipment of steel-making coal from Northeastern British Columbia, saw total shipments rebound to 7.6 million metric tons, a 90 percent increase over 2016 volumes.
Additionally, the port’s wood pellet terminal, known as the Westview Terminal, saw a significant increase in biofuel volumes, which rose 22 percent year-over-year to 1.1 million metric tons, representing the export of nearly half of Canada’s entire wood pellet production.
The one noticeable blemish on the port’s record during the year came via the Prince Rupert Grain Terminal, which saw a decrease of 6 percent based on lower volumes of wheat. Despite that, the terminal exceeded a total of 5 million metric tons for the fifth straight year, according to port statistics.
“The strength of the port’s performance last year is a further validation of the Port of Prince Rupert’s strategic advantages and the effective collaboration of our partners who operate the terminals, trains, trucks and other trade-related businesses across the northern corridor,” Interim Prince Rupert Port Authority President & CEO Joe Rektor said in a prepared statement.