Port Metro Vancouver’s 2015 mid-year statistics showed continued growth in trade through the Pacific Gateway. Total cargo was 70.3 million metric tonnes, an increase of 1.5 per cent over the same period in 2014.
“We are seeing continued growth of trade through Port Metro Vancouver as Canadian demand for foreign products and international demand for Canadian resources continue to increase,” said Robin Silvester, President and CEO, Port Metro Vancouver. “Our status as North America’s most diversified port is significant as overall cargo grew in the first half of 2015 despite some softening markets and global economic uncertainty.”
Increases in wheat, sulphur, potash, lumber and consumer goods boosted results, while declines were registered in coal and petroleum products. Movement of breakbulk and bulk dry cargo rose 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.
Trade using containers showed substantial growth, with an 8 per cent jump in the number of twenty-foot-equivalent units. Continued growth in container numbers on the west coast of Canada has been projected for some time, but this higher-than-expected jump is likely due to the impact of U.S. cargo diverted to Vancouver earlier this year in response to labour unrest at U.S. west coast ports, and deflated results last year due to the 28-day Vancouver trucking dispute in March 2014.
“The port continues to grow in response to increasing consumer and international demand,” continued Silvester. “It remains critical that we continue working with government and other stakeholders to build related infrastructure and maintain the supply of available land to support trade and goods movement.”
Auto volumes rebounded in the first half of 2015, up 7 per cent, as Canadian demand for vehicles from Asia increased and North American manufacturers struggled to manage growth and shifts in the Canadian market so far this year.
Also in the first half of 2015, environmental initiatives continued to be a top priority for Port Metro Vancouver as it announced shore power for container vessels and the winners of the Blue Circle Award which recognizes environmental stewardship of marine carriers as part of the EcoAction program. Port Metro Vancouver was also recognized as a responsible leader in sustainability for the second year in a row by Corporate Knights.