Record year at Port of Vancouver has chief eyeing growth
A record year of cargo in 2005 has the Port of Vancouver USA on track to nearly double the size of the port within five years, Executive Director Larry Paulson said in a speech Thursday.
Overall ship calls reached an all-time high of 526 vessels in 2005, a 22 percent increase over 2004 at bulk and breakbulk terminals. Bulk and breakbulk tonnage increased 40 percent, to almost 2 million metric tons.
The port also signed long-term contracts in 2005 with eight major breakbulk companies who handled more than 720,000 metric tons of commodities, including pulp, lumber, plywood and steel.
More than 180,000 metric tons of scrap steel was exported to China and Korea, up from 45,000 in 2004. Liquid bulk cargos also reached record numbers, with liquid caustic soda up 25 percent to 250,000 metric tons and fuel imports up almost 21 percent (equivalent to 1.4 million barrels of diesel, 1.3 million barrels of jet fuel and 54,000 barrels of gasoline).
Dry bulk export cargoes, such as bentonite clay and copper concentrates, accounted for 500,000 metric tons in exports, a 92 percent increase, because of continuing raw material demand from emerging Asian economies like China, Vietnam and India.
The port is planning to develop the land bank at Columbia Gateway and Rufener, about 650 acres earmarked for future marine and industrial expansion. Development is slated to begin at Gateway in 2010, with the preferred development for high volume bulk products and automobiles.