Port Metro Vancouver sets record year for cargo, huge increase in cruise passengers

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Port Metro Vancouver skyline / Shutterstock

Canada’s largest and most diverse port has released its 2013 year-end results showing continued growth, including a repeat of record volumes in the container and bulk sectors. In 2013, Port Metro Vancouver also advanced several ongoing capacity building infrastructure projects, updated and extended environmental initiatives, and participated in substantial community engagement activities.

The 2013 year-end statistics report shows that Port Metro Vancouver handled 135 million tonnes of cargo, a record for the Port, and an overall increase of 9 per cent over 2012. Import and export tonnage maintained balanced growth, showing a 9 per cent increase each. Increased demand for Canadian products, an ongoing transition to a consumer-based economy in China, and recovery in Asia have fueled the continued growth of Canadian trade through the Port.

“As we see continued growth of Canada’s trade moving through Port Metro Vancouver, we strive to balance this growth with the need to protect our environment and respect the quality of life of our neighbours,” said Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer, Port Metro Vancouver. “Looking to the future, we remain firmly committed to facilitating Canada’s trade, environmental stewardship, improved reliability, enhanced customer value, and improving the quality of life of British Columbians and Canadians through enabling economic activity.”

Bulk cargo volumes also rose by 11 per cent, buoyed by increases in coal and grain.

Cruise passenger numbers jumped 22 per cent, providing significant injection into the local tourism economy, and container traffic continued growth at 4 per cent, with a near equal number of import and export containers moving through the port.

Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest gateway, handling 19 per cent of Canada’s total trade. Economic activity supported by the Port generates more than 57,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Lower Mainland, providing an average wage that is $23,000 above the national average. Across Canada, the port generates an estimated 100,000 jobs, and provides $9.7 billion in direct GDP.

2013 Port Metro Vancouver Statistics:

  • Auto volumes of 378,883 units ended the year with a slight decrease after a strong rebound in 2012. This decrease can be attributed to increases in North American production of vehicles.
  • Breakbulk cargo of more than 17,000,000 tonnes represents an increase of 2%, with more notable increases in logs to 9,063,492 tonnes (up 8.2 %).
  • Bulk volumes of 92.7 million tonnes represents an increase of 10.7% from last year, with dry bulk (11.7%) and liquid bulk (3.5%) both up. Coal volumes rose by 16.6%, and substantial increases occurred amongst grain and specialty crops, notably for wheat (26.2%), specialty crops (58%), and barley (273%). Crude petroleum declined by 5% (largely due to increased demand in the United States), while refined products rose, such as gasoline (2.1%).
  • Container traffic volumes continued to grow, showing a 4% increase in 2013, for a record total of 2.83 Million TEUs*. Total inbound TEUs rose 3.9%, and outbound rose 4.4%. Increases can be attributed to such items as an increase in export of specialty grains by container, and increased consumer spending in Canada.
  • Cruise passenger numbers jumped twenty 22% in 2013, with a 23% increase in vessel calls over 2012. In 2013 Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 812,398 passengers, on 235 calls, by 29 vessels.
  • Infrastructure projects that build capacity, maximize efficiency and density and minimize community impacts of port operations moved forward in 2013. An elevated road structure as part of the South Shore Corridor Project (Vancouver) was completed in November, construction on the Low Level Road Project (North Vancouver) and Deltaport Terminal Road and Rail Improvement Project (Delta), and the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor Projects (Lower Mainland) continued, and in the fall an Environmental Assessment process began for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project (Delta).
  • Foreign vessel calls were up almost 3%, to 3,166.
  • Community engagement activities and participation in community events continues to be a key priority. In 2013, Port Metro Vancouver staff led, attended and participated in more than 500 community engagement events.
  • A total of $1.158 million in discounts were provided to vessels going beyond requirements to reduce emissions through the EcoAction Program in 2013. In addition, Sir Richard Branson and the Carbon War room recently endorsed the initiative.

Image: Port Metro Vancouver via Shutterstock

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