The arrival of M/V Westwood Pacific at Nanaimo Port Authority’s Duke Point terminal on August 19th marks the first berthing of a container ship at the Port’s facilities and will provide a direct link to Asia. Westwood Shipping Lines operates a dedicated breakbulk and container service to Asia and has been evaluating the Vancouver Island market for some time. This trial call, with express service to Japan, Korea and feeder service to other Asian ports, is expected to lead to a regular service, providing Vancouver Island manufacturers the option to ship their goods from Nanaimo.
Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) has been working with its terminal partner, DP World Vancouver, to create a direct competitive connection for Vancouver Island customers to Asia Pacific markets, and the arrival of this container ship is one step closer to realizing this goal. NPA recently received $4.5 million from the federal government as part of the Asia Pacific Gateway Corridor Initiative Program. These funds are intended to upgrade the Port’s container operation at the Duke Point Terminal. “The trial call from the M/V Westwood Pacific is an exciting time for Vancouver Island importers and exporters and will prove that NPA can offer competitive deep-sea connections to global markets. We are sure that Westwood Shipping Lines will be pleased with the service, efficiency and potential volume of business that can be provided from Vancouver Island, and will hopefully announce a regular containerized liner service from Nanaimo as part of its global operation” commented Bernie Dumas, President & CEO of Nanaimo Port Authority.
“DP World Vancouver will first load two ships, but we expect the frequency of these shipments will increase and each departure will add 150 TEUs to 300 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of container throughput to Vancouver Island’s container terminal,” says Maksim Mihic, General Manager of DP World Vancouver. “This gives customers the option of now having direct access between Vancouver Island and major Asian ports as well as using the container barge service DP World Vancouver operates from the same facility to ship to Vancouver.”
“Through the Port of Nanaimo gateway to Asia at Duke Point, Westwood Shipping Lines can provide consistent container/break bulk service designed to meet the needs of Vancouver Island. We have every expectation that our first two ship calls will demonstrate that the region will support continuation of the service. Port of Nanaimo, ILWU Local 508, and DP World Vancouver have been very supportive in promoting this service” says Guy Stephenson, President and CEO of Westwood Shipping Lines, Inc.