Trade through the Port of Vancouver grew four percent to 76.3 million tons in 2005, with exports of petroleum products and canola showing marked increases of 27% and 17% respectively; and, container traffic attaining a new record of 1.77 million teus. Increases in trade activity and demand from China, Asian economies and the US indicate the critical need to expand capacity and implement supply chain efficiencies to accommodate future growth.
‘We will continue to lead the expansion of the Pacific Gateway through terminal expansion projects and by driving action across the nation’s transportation sector to improve efficiencies,’ said Captain Gordon
Houston, President and CEO, Vancouver Port Authority. ‘Growing demand provides significant opportunities to strengthen the Canadian economy and employment, yet competing ports in the US are expanding at a fast pace.’ Major US West Coast ports recorded double-digit increases at the end of November 2005; Seattle 18%; Long Beach 18%; Tacoma 16%; and Oakland 13%. ‘We must maintain our competitive position through improvements and capitalize on these opportunities, otherwise economic benefits will be lost,’ said Houston.
Notable 2005 year-end statistics include;
- Breakbulk shipments increased by two percent with steel imports offsetting reductions in the export of forest products.
- Forest product exports decreased five per cent to 7.8 million tons. Forest products represent 10% of the port’s exports.
- Lumber shipments decreased 12% to 2.0 million tons. The Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, rising production costs, US softwood lumber duties, and lower-cost lumber supplied by competitors in South America, Eastern Europe and Russia have affected demand for BC lumber.
- Wood pulp exports decreased four percent to 4.2 million tons due to high production costs and lower cost wood pulp supplied by competing economies Brazil, Russia, China and Eastern Europe.
- Total bulk shipments increased by four per cent to 58.6 million tons. Bulk products represent 77% of the port’s traffic.
- Total liquid bulk shipments increased nine per cent to 7.6 million tons including a substantial increase of 27% to 4.9 million tons in petroleum product exports. This reflects increased exports to the US with Canada taking over from Saudi Arabia and Mexico as the US’s number one supplier of crude oil.
- Coal exports increased by two percent to 25.2 million tons. Coal continues to be the port’s largest export commodity in terms of volume.
- Grain exports, overall, decreased two per cent to 8.5 million tons largely due to a six per cent decrease in wheat to 4.9 million tons, a result of wet harvests; and, due to a 37 per cent decrease in barley, the result of a fall in the availability of malting quality exports.
- Canola exports increased 17% to 2.9 million tons as a result of growing demand and good crops that increased supply.
- Sulfur exports decreased by two percent to 6.1 million tons due to a drop in demand from Brazil and Australia and the impacts of hurricanes in the US.
- Potash exports decreased slightly by 0.4% to 5.9 million tons as some Saskatchewan producers diverted potash to Portland due to capacity and rail issues at the Port of Vancouver. The Port of Vancouver’s Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd. received approval on January 11, 2006 to expand its existing potash storage facilities. The $93 million project will help meet the growing demand from Asia.
- Container shipments increased six per cent to 1.77 million teus sets a new record for container shipments through the port. Consumer demand for Asian-made goods continues to rise as is indicated with the record 857,500 import laden figure, an increase of 10 per cent over the 2004.
Throughput efficiencies and equipment upgrades served to accommodate this growth.
Cruise experienced a two per cent decline recording 910,000 revenue passengers and approximately five fewer sailings. The 2005 season included new programs int