Container Volumes Soar at Prince Rupert


By The Maritime Executive 01-11-2018 01:56:37

The Port of Prince Rupert reported a record cargo volume of 24 million tonnes in 2017, with gains driven by a stunning 26 percent growth in its intermodal container business. The overall tonnage through the port was up by nearly 30 percent from 2016, and it exceeded the previous record high set in 2013.

“The increasingly diversified nature of the gateway, combined with terminal expansion and the introduction of new logistics services, is paying dividends to Canadians,” said Bud Smith, Chair of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. 

Last year, operator DP World completed the expansion of Prince Rupert's Fairview Terminal, increasing annual throughput capacity by 60 percent and enabling the terminal to move over 900,000 TEU per annum. At the port's coal terminal, total shipments rebounded to 7.6 million tonnes, a 90 percent increase over 2016 volumes. In addition to its cargo tonnage, the port saw its cruise traffic double to 16,000 passengers and 25 cruise ships. 

The Port of Prince Rupert has one of the deepest natural, ice-free harbors in the world, and it’s geographically the closest shipping route to Asia out of all the ports on the West Coast. It is 450 nm closer to Shanghai than Port of Seattle, and 1,200 nm closer than Port of Los Angeles. 

This advantage has given it an edge for shipping from East Asia to the American heartland: a rail connection operated by CN gives shippers direct access to destinations as far away as New Orleans and Halifax. CN can deliver containers to Chicago in four days, fully one day faster than rail services departing Los Angeles. When including time saved at sea, this can add up to a time-to-market reduction of up to 3.5 days for midwest destinations.