International trade through the Port of Vancouver increases in 2003

by Canadian Shipper

The Port of Vancouver continued its strong growth in cargo volumes last year, with total shipments rising six per cent to 66.7 million tonnes and container shipments rising to an all-time high of 1.54 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), according to a port statement.

“The resurgence in our bulk shipments of products like coal, grain, wood pulp and potash are indicative of increasing demand for our products and a strengthening Western Canadian economy, and we’re more than pleased to have helped facilitate the strengthening of those vital sectors,” said Captain Gordon Houston, Vancouver Port Authority President and Chief Executive Officer.

“The other part of the story is the remarkable and ongoing growth of our containerized trade with Pacific Rim nations like China, Japan, and South Korea. Container volumes on the Pacific coast of North America are expected to more than double over the next 15 years, and the Port of Vancouver and other B.C. ports are ideally located to capture a dominant share of that business.”

Captain Houston said a global trend toward the containerization of cargo and the rapid expansion of North American trade with Asian nations particularly China has created an enormous growth opportunity for B.C. ports. He noted that the Port of Vancouver is currently developing new terminal capacity to capture its share of a projected six million TEUs of container traffic that B.C. ports could experience by 2020.

“I believe that transportation will be the next great growth industry in this province,” he said. “But if British Columbia is going to capture its share of the burgeoning Pacific Rim bulk, breakbulk and container markets and become a global hub for North American trade, we’re going to have to work together with government, communities and other ports to develop the business strategies, the infrastructure, the support industries and legislative changes we need to be successful," said Houston.

Port of Vancouver cargo statistics for 2003 include:

Container shipments increased six per cent from 1.46 million TEUs to a record 1.54 million TEUs. Containerized import volumes grew one per cent to 748, 251 TEUs, while containerized export volumes grew 10 per cent to 790,807 TEUs.

Grain shipments jumped 22 per cent to 6.7 million tonnes, with wheat rising four per cent to 3.4 million tonnes and canola recording a dramatic 79 per cent increase to 2.8 million tonnes based on shipments to Mexico, China and the emergence of Pakistan as a new market.

Potash increased 17 per cent to 4.6 million tonnes.

Total dry bulk shipments increased seven per cent to 44.2 million tonnes

Coal the Port of Vancouver’s single largest commodity rose five per cent to 24.2 million tonnes.

Sulphur increased five per cent to 5.4 million tonnes.

Liquid bulk shipments through the Port of Vancouver increased five per cent to 6.8 million tonnes.

Petroleum products increased four per cent to 4.2 million tonnes.

Shipments of forest products increased three per cent to 7.6 million tonnes. Lumber shipments declined one per cent to 1.9 million tonnes, while wood pulp shipments climbed seven per cent to 4.3 million tonnes, based on strong demand from China.

Total chemical volumes remained even with 2.4 million tonnes shipped.

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