Vancouver container throughput down but rebound on the horizon

Gantry Cranes at Container Terminals Vancouver, BC

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has reported a 7.7% decreased in containerised cargo for the first half of 2020 in its recent mid-year cargo volumes report.

The Port Authority said that it saw 1.6 million TEUs pass through the port during the period 1 January to 30 June 2020.
Despite this, Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, said, “As we’ve seen from previous economic downturns, trade is generally well-positioned to rebound strongly.”

“In container trade, we are already seeing monthly volumes recover when compared to the same month in 2019, and the demand for goods shipped in containers continues to be projected to grow going forward. A key part of our role as a Canada Port Authority is to advance the critical infrastructure required to accommodate this growth through the port.”

Along with industry and government partners across the Lower Mainland, the port authority is leading the development of more than $1 billion worth of infrastructure projects that will further strengthen its competitiveness as a West Coast trade hub and support a more fluid supply chain to and from the Port of Vancouver.

To accommodate growing trade in containers, the port authority is currently leading two container terminal projects and has partnered with government and industry to invest in a number of road, rail and other infrastructure projects.
Once completed, the Centerm Expansion Project will be able to accommodate a 65% increase in container traffic by having added only 15% more land, along with a terminal reconfiguration.

The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is a proposed new terminal which, if approved, would add nearly 50% more container capacity to the Port of Vancouver.

The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is designed to meet Canada’s long-term trade demands, well beyond the mid-to late-2030s, making it a critical generational project. Both projects are needed to meet the forecasted demand for trade of goods in containers.

For 1 January to 30 January 2020 overall cargo throughput fell 1.1% from 72.4 to 71.7 million metric tonnes (MMT) compared with 2019.

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