Newly released 2015 year-end statistics from Canada’s largest seaport, Port Metro Vancouver, show that overall volumes remained steady at 138 million tons of cargo last year, as sectors experiencing declines were offset by others that hit new records.
Data released Feb. 18 show there was a five percent jump in volume for a new record of 3.1 million TEUs. Cargo shipped in containers at the port showed substantial growth due to increased trade with Asia.
Also according to the data, this is the port’s third consecutive year of strong cargo volumes, with new records set in the container, potash, grain and agri-product sectors.
Grain and agri-product exports increased by eight percent over 2014 to 25.1 million metric tons, and potash exports were 8.7 million metric tons, up 15.6 percent from the prior year.
“These strong and consistent cargo volumes through Port Metro Vancouver demonstrate the diversification of the port and the Canadian economy,” Port Metro Vancouver President and CEO Robin Silvester said in a written statement.
The port’s volumes of bulk specialty crops – lentils and pulses – reached 3.5 million metric tons last year, an increase of 20 percent, with growth in exports to India and China.
There was a decline in breakbulk metal imports (construction steel and fabricated components) during the second half of 2015, but with volumes of 1.4 million metric tons, 2015 remained the second highest year for metals on record.
Foreign forest product exports (logs, lumber, woodchips, woodpulp) ended the year at 10.9 million metric tons, a slight decrease from 2014. Coal volumes were down eight percent, mainly due to reduced demand from China and lower thermal coal exports from the United States.
Port Metro Vancouver is North America’s third busiest seaport, after the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.