Ensuring the movement of Canada’s trade in the face of exceptional supply chain and extreme weather disruptions has been a collaborative effort at the Port of Vancouver. Over the past year, the port workforce and wider port community have worked tirelessly to keep Canada’s trade flowing through the Vancouver gateway, responding to on-going global supply chain disruptions, and the impacts of a succession of extraordinary weather- related events in southern British Columbia.
The impact from the damage to regional transportation networks caused by the extensive flooding last November, along with the ongoing supply chain challenges both globally and nationally have continued to impact the flow of goods moving through the Vancouver gateway this year. The severe flooding in southwestern B.C. directly affected the port, cutting the gateway from national supply chains for eight days fully, and partially for another nine days.
“Vancouver’s port community has met challenge after challenge in the past year—sometimes working around the clock—to keep the port connected to national supply chains and goods flowing for Canadians,” said Robin Silvester, president and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the federal agency responsible for the stewardship of the lands and waters that make up the Port of Vancouver. “I’d like to recognize industry and the workforce across the port for their exceptional work moving goods through Canada’s largest port in another complex year.”
In 2022, among the remarkable efforts by the port community included the quick development of a temporary storage facility to provide increased gateway capacity to handle a surge in empty shipping containers being held in the region following the extensive flooding in November. The facility was built on undeveloped federal port land in Richmond, B.C. to reduce congestion at container yards and terminals and became operational through a collaborative effort between the port authority, Transport Canada, Musqueam Indian Band, local project partners and other stakeholders.
Led by the port authority’s project team, the site was prepared in three phases with the first phase becoming operational in January 2022 and the remaining phases by early March. Available for use until July, empty container storage supply increased by 75% within port authority managed lands, and 38% within the Vancouver gateway.
“Thanks to funding support and a quick response from the Government of Canada, coupled with remarkable efforts by the project team, this region and Canada’s supply chains have benefited from needed additional container-storage capacity,” Silvester said. “My appreciation to all the project partners, stakeholders and teams who have worked tirelessly to advance this site so swiftly, to deliver increased supply-chain capacity and resiliency at a pivotal time for the region and the country.”