By Theo van de Kletersteeg

Of course, this is not a contest. If it were, Port of Nanaimo would probably get the honours. After a 53.7% year-over-year gain in tonnage in 2010, the port managed to score another impressive gain of 35.2% in 2011, for a combined two-year gain of 107.7%. Prince Rupert and Port Alberni, with two-year gains of 59.5% and 35.6%, handily beat the average two-year Canadian Port Authority (CPA) tonnage gain of 20.9%. In fact, all western CPAs easily beat average Canadian CPA gains, or gravitated toward the average. Given its size, representing more than a third of the tonnage of all Canadian CPAs, Vancouver would find it difficult to beat the average – its performance more or less represented average CPA performance in both 2010 and 2011.

Among eastern CPAs, all of the ports handling 10 million tons per year plus did well. Sept-Îles and Quebec were the two standout performers, with Saint John, St. John’s and Montreal continuing their recoveries from depressed 2009 levels. Among the smaller eastern CPAs, Trois-Rivières put in a strong performance.