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Record cargo through Vancouver

(Posted on 16/03/19)

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has released the 2018 year-end statistics for cargo through the Port of Vancouver. Overall cargo volume through Canada’s largest port reached a record high of 147 million tonnes, up 3.5 per cent from 2017.

One of the port’s biggest strengths continues to be the ability to accommodate the most diversified range of cargo of any port in North America. Sectors that experienced strong growth last year include containers, potash, canola products and barley, all of which hit new records in 2018.

A bumper harvest in Canada was met with strong global demand for Canadian grain, special crops and other agriculture products, resulting in steady exports through the Port of Vancouver. Combined, dry bulk and containerized grain hit record levels of 27.4 million metric tonnes, with canola and barley each reaching new records for 2018. In fertilizers, potash exports increased 27.6 per cent to record volumes.

Cargo in the breakbulk sector, including domestic tonnage, was up 11.7 per cent over 2017 due to strong imports of steel products and increased movement of domestic logs along the Fraser River.

For Canadian businesses large and small, container trade through the Port of Vancouver is essential to gaining access to international markets.

“Canada’s international trade is growing. The port authority and all those who make up the Port of Vancouver are taking steps to ensure the port will be ready to handle the anticipated increase in cargo through Canada’s west coast,” said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the federal agency responsible for overseeing the Port of Vancouver. “This includes partnering with terminal operators to expand and improve operations in preparation to meet the expected increased demand.”

Even with the additional capacity provided by such improvements, forecasts from independent experts show it won’t be enough to manage Canada’s future trade demand.

“Last year’s success is due to port terminals, tenants, railways, marine shippers, truckers, and our government and other partners, all of whom are continuing to invest in response to growing trade,” continued Silvester. “I’d like to thank all of our port stakeholders for their commitment to contribute to a more fluid and efficient supply chain and increased capacity at Canada’s largest port.”

Bulk dry cargo was 90.0 MMT, up 0.5 per cent from 2017.

  • Bulk Fertilizer volumes increased 16.3 per cent from 2017 to 11.5 MMT in 2018
  • Bulk Potash volumes increased 27.6 per cent from 2017 to 9.2 MMT in 2018

Breakbulk cargo was 18.6 MMT, up 11.7 per cent from 2017. Breakbulk forest product ended the year at 12.1 MMT, a 14.5 per cent increase against 2017. Domestic breakbulk log volumes increased by 19.0 per cent in 2018.

Bulk liquid tonnage at 11.4 MMT, up 21.9 per cent from 2017.

The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest, and the third largest in North America by tonnes of cargo, facilitating trade between Canada and more than 170 world economies.

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