DP World Vancouver and the Nanaimo Port Authority have signed a three-year agreement that awards DP World Vancouver the right to operate the Port of Nanaimo’s facilities, including the general cargo Duke Point facility and Assembly Wharf.

The two parties are considering diversifying and pursuing commodities along with short-sea shipping of containers to and from Vancouver Island. The current commodities handled at the three-berth Port of Nanaimo facilities consist of traditional forest products, along with salt and kaolin. The facility also handles cruise passengers at a newly built berth opened for the 2011 cruise season.

Vancouver Island is one of the world’s highest-population, non-road-connected islands without any lo-lo (lift-on, lift-off) container terminal facilities, instead relying on inefficient ro-ro (roll on, roll off) services. The short-sea shipping project will ensure greater connectivity for trade to and from Vancouver Island.

DP World currently operates more than 60 marine terminals around the world, including general cargo and container handling facilities, as well as cruise terminals.

 “We are very pleased to be working with DP World over the coming years,” commented Bernie Dumas, president, Nanaimo Port Authority. “The port wants to import and export a greater variety of commodities and our agreement with DP World with its extensive experience in both container- and commodity-handling allows us to explore new business opportunities and to reduce our reliance on a single market.”