Canada’s largest port has released its 2012 mid-year results, posting healthy continued growth of six per cent overall. The 2012 mid-year statistics report shows that Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) handled 62.3 million tonnes of cargo through the end of June and is on track for another strong year.

“What we have seen to the mid-point in 2012 is continued resiliency in the Canadian export market. Although some Asian economies show slower growth overall, through the port we saw continuing strong demand for Canadian natural resources, with all the major economic benefits that provides for the Canadian economy,” said Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer, Port Metro Vancouver. “Thanks to capacity building projects now underway, together with improved efficiencies, and this ongoing demand, we expect to see continued strength throughout 2012.”

Total foreign tonnage at Port Metro Vancouver posted a six per cent increase with 49 million tonnes. “PMV’s strong 2012 mid-year growth is clear proof that the federal government’s strategic investments and partnerships in building the Asia-Pacific Gateway are making Canada the gateway of choice between Asia and North America,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. “As we deepen Canada’s trade and investment ties in fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets, PMV’s competitive advantages and continued success are helping to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of our country.”

Total domestic tonnage increased by six per cent to 13.3 million tonnes.

Healthy growth in key sectors

Auto volumes of 223,000 units posted a strong rebound increasing 47 per cent, mostly due to the resumption of imports after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011 shut down a large part of the Japanese industry for much of last year.

Breakbulk cargo at 8.3 million tonnes represents an increase of five per cent overall; with continued growth supported by 5.5 million tonnes of traffic of forest products like lumber, logs and woodpulp.

Bulk volumes rose to 42.4 million tonnes, a six per cent increase. Records with dry bulk cargoes like coal up 10 per cent at 16.7 million tonnes, while potash posted a nine per cent decrease, to 3.4 million tonnes due to weak demand in the first quarter. Liquid bulk cargo ended the mid-year up seven per cent to 4.9 million tonnes, largely due to some recovery of crude petroleum exports, though much lower than levels seen in 2010.

Container traffic at Port Metro Vancouver set a record in the first half of 2012, growing six per cent compared to the first half of 2011 to 1.3 million TEUs.

Cruise passenger numbers are expected to increase by one per cent over 2011, with fewer cruise ship calls, but more cruise passengers. This year, the Port anticipates 191 cruise calls with an estimated 670,000 passengers.