The British Columbia port handled just over 1 million TEUs in 2018, but planners say it has potential capacity of 6 million to 7 million TEUs.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) said a recently completed master plan shows it could potentially increase capacity to handle 6 million to 7 million TEUs of containerized cargo.
Last year the port handled just over 1 million TEUs.
The plan, completed with the assistance of the engineering firm AECOM, identified the potential to expand capacity through the development of multiple terminals.
“Conducting this work ensures we have a clear understanding of the future potential for terminal development and contributes to a vision for the future of our container business to respond to the growing market demand for capacity at the Port of Prince Rupert,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and chief executive of the port authority. “The terminal development potential identified in the study ensures that we can accommodate the short-, medium- and long-term supply chain needs of Canadian exporters while continuing to provide the unparalleled reach, reliability and speed shippers have come to expect at the Port of Prince Rupert.”
The port authority said the master plan shows the potential for further expansion of Fairview Terminal and the development of a second container terminal at South Kaien Island.
“This second terminal features a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs and was identified as the next phase of terminal expansion for the container business at the Port of Prince Rupert following the expansion of Fairview Container Terminal announced with DP World in 2018, increasing its current capacity from 1.35 million TEUs to 1.8 million TEUs by 2022,” the port authority said. “Both the current Fairview Terminal and South Kaien sites are in close proximity to expanding export logistics operations on Ridley Island and will fully integrate with these operations following PRPA’s construction of the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor scheduled for the end of 2020.”
DP World, which operates Fairview Terminal, supports the port authority’s “development vision,” said Maksim Mihic, general manager of DP World (Canada) Inc., who pointed out it could improve the balance between imports and exports through the port. In 2018, Prince Rupert imported 568,995 loaded TEUs and exported 207,111 loaded export TEUs.
The port said it expects to become Canada’s second-largest port in the next five years.