Vancouver Port Trade Steady Despite Challenges

Cargo volumes in 2021 through the Port of Vancouver, BC, increased by one per cent over 2020 from 145 to 146 million metric tonnes (MMT), says the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. This increase was despite ongoing pandemic and global supply chain challenges and extreme weather events. Leading the increase was record container and foreign bulk volumes, as well as strong grain volumes the first half of 2021. There were declines in sectors such as fertilizers (down 13 per cent), chemicals (down 19 per cent), lumber (down 14 per cent), wood pulp (down 20 per cent), and processed food products (down 22 per cent), due to a combination of global supply chain challenges and weather events. Container trade through Canada’s west coast has been growing at an average of five per cent per year for the last decade, in line with the high case of forecasted growth. With continued growth, west coast terminals are expected to run out of capacity by the mid- to late-2020s. To meet increased demand for goods shipped in containers, the port authority has been leading the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, a proposed container terminal in Delta, BC. The proposed project would increase container capacity on the west coast by 30 per cent. The project is pending a decision by the federal government.