PORT OF VANCOUVER EXPECTS CONTAINER GROWTH
The Vancouver Port Authority said that it expects further growth in container traffic, despite a fall in its box volume last year.
Total container traffic at the Canadian port decreased by 1 percent in 2001, to 1.15 million TEUs.
“However, our market share continued to grow as our competition in the U.S. suffered declines much larger than we did,” said Gordon Houston, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Port Authority.
“Although last year more than 72 million metric tonnes were shipped through the port, the port of Vancouver was affected as were most ports, by the downturn in global economy,” he said. Dry bulk volumes declined 6 percent, while bulk liquids grew 1 percent. Exports of forest products declined 13 percent.
The port is expanding its container-handling capacity.
“In the next ten years, trans-pacific containerized trade is forecasted to double,” Houston said.
In December, the port authority completed construction of Pod 3 at its Delta container facility, adding 60 additional acres and increasing capacity to 850,000 TEUs at Deltaport.
In the Inner Harbour of Vancouver, the Vanterm container terminal has been upgraded with a 55-metre berth expansion. Completed in December, the berth extension allows Vanterm to handle two post-Panamax vessels at the same time.
The port authority and BCR Marine have signed a long-term lease and together invested $16.3 million to expand the capacity and efficiencies of Centerm by 25 percent to handle a total of 200,000 containers.
“All told, this increases the port of Vancouver’s overall handling capacity to 1.7 million TEUs,” Houston said. “To meet the challenge of future capacity and serve the Canadian market and economy, Vancouver Port Authority’s container development team continues to examine options to increase the port’s capacity,” he added.
Referring to post-Sept. 11 security issues, Houston said that events have also focused attention on Canada’s border with the U.S. “We are supportive of measures to ensure trade between our nations remains healthy and the flow of cargo remains unimpeded,” he said.
The Canadian port is “encouraged” by recent developments to work on the pre-clearance of U.S.-destined cargo at Canadian ports, Houston commented.
“This is an excellent example of how the Border Agreement with the U.S. will contribute to the secure and efficient flow of goods across our borders,” he added.