Imports helped the port of Vancouver set a record for container volumes

2022-06-29 0 By

In a challenging year for Canada’s largest seaborne trading facility, the port of Vancouver recorded a record increase in imports in 2021, while exports surged.Container volume increased 6 percent from 2021 to 3.7 million feet of 20 units, Vancouver’s Port authority said in its annual statistical report released Thursday.Overall cargo volumes grew even more slowly, rising 1 percent to 146 million metric tons.The port has faced a difficult year with the added challenge of bad weather and unprecedented demand across the global supply chain.In July and December, there were two major disruptions to mainland China and Canada’s Pacific rail service, first caused by wildfires, then floods and landslides.The overall picture for container traffic at ports is mixed.The number of cargo containers fell 2 per cent to 2.8 million TEUS.Arrivals rose 6 per cent, but departures fell 16 per cent.However, the number of empty containers rose 42 per cent to almost 900,000 teU.As the Port Authority noted in its press release, the outflow of empty containers has made it more difficult for exporters to obtain containers.In addition to container growth, bulk cargo shipments in Vancouver increased 18% to 19.8 million metric tons (metal strength).Dry bulk volumes increased by 1 per cent, coal by 19 per cent, while grains and potash fell by double digits.Port Authority CEO: Container Terminal capacity ‘urgently needed’ Robin Silvester, president and chief executive of the Port Authority, said the growth of containers demonstrated the need for additional capacity.”The story of 2,021 containers, also a record for the fifth consecutive year, is a warning on two fronts: container capacity shortages and the continental industrial land shortage crisis,” Silvester said in a statement.The Port Authority is moving ahead with the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion, which has faced years of delays in environmental reviews.”If we as a country can’t provide the container terminal capacity that is so badly needed, then the global supply chain problems that Canadians are experiencing right now are a preview of the supply chain problems that are made in Canada,” Sylvester said.