Thursday, January 29, 2015

Port of Prince Rupert may see increased throughput owing to US congestion

Things continue to get heated along the ports of the western United States as negotiations between employers and longshore workers continue on at a fairly slow pace, with slowdowns on the waterfront giving shippers cause to reconsider their transportation plans.

Through the last year, both the Port of Prince Rupert and Port Metro Vancouver have seen increased numbers of transit and some industry observers suggest that those numbers will continue to climb, owing to some of the turmoil of recent months in the US.

While the two sides have reached a tentative deal on some aspects of a proposed agreement, there are still a number of hurdles to be cleared before the US situation settles down and until that final agreement is in place, shipping companies will be looking for alternatives.

With that increased interest however, would appear to bring some challenges, with an increase in delay times a potential problem.

According to Business in Vancouver, container cargo customers have faced delays of two to five days through Prince Rupert, though compared to some of the other ports along the west coast, the Prince Rupert option would appear to remain the fastest transit available to gain entry to North America.

BIV -- U. S. container traffic jams could boost B. C. port business

The long term prospect of more re-directed traffic would appear to work in favour of the planned Phase Two expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal,  with current gateway already working at a high capacity.

With word continuing to spread to shipping lines about the advantages that the North Coast gateway offers,  the prospect of even higher levels of Shipments through Prince Rupert would seem easy to forecast, once the added space has been made available on the Prince Rupert waterfront.

The Port is attending a major Conference on shipping and Logistics this week in Vancouver, with the Prince Rupert Port Authority also listed as one of the Gold Sponsors for this weeks event which wraps up today.

Prince Rupert Port Authority booth
at Cargo Logistics Conference

That event provides an opportunity to share more details on the current capabilities of the Port of Prince Rupert, as well as to highlight the plans for the future, once the highly anticipated expansion project moves forward.

For more on the current levels of U. S. congestion and the impact on Canadians ports see the items below.

Vancouver Province-- B. C. could pick up business from backed-up ports on U. S. West Coast
Seattle Times -- West Coast ports are in rough seas due to slowdown
Wall Street Journal -- West Coast Port Snarls Will Take months to unwind
Labor Notes -- Union Faces Fresh Questions in West Coast Longshore standoff

For more items related to developments with the Prince Rupert Port Authority see our archive page here.

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