Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Port Metro Vancouver Shows Mid-Year Growth

By Mark Edward Nero

Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s largest port, is seeing continued growth in trade through the Pacific Gateway, according to recently released mid-year statistical data.

Total cargo was 70.3 million metric tons, an increase of 1.5 percent over the same six months in 2014 according to the data, which was released Aug. 18.

Increases in wheat, sulphur, potash, lumber and consumer goods boosted results according to the data, while declines were registered in coal and petroleum products. Movement of breakbulk (8.38 million tons) rose two percent from last year to this one.

Trade using containers showed substantial growth, with an eight percent jump in the number of TEUs.

Continued growth in container numbers on the West Coast of Canada has been projected for some time, but this higher-than-expected jump is likely due to the impact of US cargo diverted to Vancouver earlier this year in response to labor unrest at US West Coast ports, and deflated results last year due to a 28-day Vancouver trucking dispute in March 2014.

“We are seeing continued growth of trade through Port Metro Vancouver as Canadian demand for foreign products and international demand for Canadian resources continue to increase,” President and Port Metro Vancouver Chief Executive Officer Robin Silvester said. “Our … overall cargo grew in the first half of 2015 despite some softening markets and global economic uncertainty.”

Auto volumes in the first half of 2015 were up seven percent according to port data, with 212,266 units moved during the first half of 2015. Also, The port projects its 2015 cruise season to be on par with previous years, with an estimated 805,000 passengers on 228 visits by 32 vessels.