Prince Rupert announces infrastructure upgrades

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF) & Inside Logistics Staff

The Prince Rupert Port Authority and terminal owner DP World are boosting capacity on B.C.’s north coast amid ongoing supply chain challenges that an analyst says could bode well for Canadian National Railway Co.

The port authority and the global logistics company announced updates that will improve the West Coast’s ability to move goods and supplies.

The Fairview container terminal is expected to become Canada’s second-largest when its capacity increases to 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this summer from 1.35 million TEUs. The container yard will expand from 32 to 41 hectares, and two new rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes and an eighth dock gantry crane, are being added.

On-dock rail capacity will be expanded by 6,680 feet, for a total of 24,680 feet of on-dock rail by 2022.

The second stage of the expansion is set to be completed in late 2024 and will see the terminal’s capacity grow to 1.8 million TEUs. Phase 2B will result in 300 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) positions at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal, the company said.

Traffic congestion

The port is addressing truck traffic congestion with the completion this spring of the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor. The route will shift container trucks from local transload and customs facilities directly to Fairview Container Terminal.

DP World, Ray-Mont Logistics, and the Prince Rupert Port Authority are developing a logistics facility on Ridley Island for exports. An import logistics facility is also being constructed on 34 acres near the Fairview Container Terminal. The South Kaien Import Logistics Facility, which will be integrated into the Prince Rupert Gateway’s innovative logistics hub, is a critical component of the Port Authority’s plan for even further growth by 2030.

The improvements at Prince Rupert come after flooding and mudslides cut railway and highway links to Vancouver last year.

Analyst Walter Spracklin of RBC Capital Markets says the expansions are good news for Canada’s largest railway, which serves the port.

“We continue to believe that this provides a material growth opportunity for CNR, especially given congestion at other West Coast ports, specifically in Southern California,” he wrote in a report.