Vancouver Port Authority embarks on capacity increase plan

by Canadian Shipper

The Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) has announced the beginning of the process to increase capacity at the port’s container handling facilities.

The plan includes improvements at existing terminals as well as expansion at Roberts Bank. In exploring expansion at Roberts Bank, the Vancouver Port Authority will be working with the Corporation of Delta, Tsawwassen First Nations, the community as well as the provincial and federal governments. VPA will work together with all parties to develop a consultation process to address areas of interest to stakeholders including economic development and highway improvement opportunities.

“The Vancouver Port Authority is pleased with the response of those at our initial meetings,” said Captain Gordon Houston, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Port Authority. “Key stakeholders recognize the role of the port as a vital economic driver for British Columbia and all of Canada.”

A recent study of the contributions of the Port of Vancouvers container business on British Columbia economy include 11,979 jobs and $646 million dollars in wages. In terms of GDP, British Columbia benefits by $712 million dollars while economic output is $1.5 billion dollars.

While the Vancouver Port Authority’s first priority is to work with its terminal operators to increase the capacities of existing facilities through operating efficiencies and new equipment productivity, improvements alone will not be sufficient to meet long-term requirements for container handling facilities. This process is necessary to ensure capacity meets the needs of business.

Studies indicate that container traffic on the West Coast of North America is expected to double in the next 20 years and the Port of Vancouver is well positioned to capture that growing market.

Competition with the U.S. is fierce,” stated David Stowe, Chairman, Vancouver Port Authority. “The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma are making major infrastructure investments to compete for this future business. If we want to increase jobs and stimulate the economy in British Columbia we must be competitive. The reality is that we must start planning now and look at expansion options including those at Roberts Bank.”

Over the next 10 to 20 years, the increase in demand for container-handling facilities presents an opportunity for the Port of Vancouver to handle upwards of 4 million TEUs (Twentyfoot equivalent containers) with a value of $2.8 billion to the Canadian economy.

The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, trading more than $29 billion in goods with more than 90 nations. Port activities generate 62,000 jobs in total with $1.6 billion in Gross Domestic Product and $3.5 billion in economic output. Last year, 72.9 million tonnes were shipped through the Port of Vancouver.

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