By Mark Edward Nero
The Port of Vancouver USA is celebrating another record-breaking year. On March 9, the port revealed that 2015 was the best year ever for both revenue and tonnage in the port’s 104-year history.
The port reported a record $38.2 million in operating revenue in 2015, up from the previous record of $37.5 million in 2014. Tonnage – total import and export cargo – was at 6.95 million metric tons, a nearly 5.5 percent increase from 2014.
“Our docks are busy, our industrial facilities are full and we’re making great strides on critical projects like Centennial Industrial Park and the waterfront redevelopment,” port CEO Todd Coleman said.
Overall exports moving through the Port of Vancouver were up 3.8 percent in 2015, according to data. Grain – wheat, corn and soybeans – continued as the port’s largest export by volume. Grain overall increased by 6.4 percent to 4.56 million metric tons in 2015. While wheat exports saw a slight decrease due to fluctuations in currency and the global economy, corn exports increased by 19.5 percent and soybean exports grew by a whopping 58.6 percent.
Overall imports increased by 12 percent last year, according to port data, with much of the increase attributed to gains in steel and project cargo, which require the Port of Vancouver’s unique equipment capabilities and laydown space.
Steel slabs, a new commodity for the port in 2014, brought total steel import tonnage to 770,627 metric tons last year – an increase of 30.5 percent from 2014. Project cargo, such as massive transformers handled at the port for a Bonneville Power Administration energy project, saw a 103 percent increase.
Japanese automaker Subaru of America, a longtime port tenant that signed a 15-year lease extension with the port in 2015, saw its imports grow to 90,183 vehicles in 2015 – a 10 percent increase over 2014 – a record-breaking number.