Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Seattle-Tacoma put eyes on Port of Prince Rupert

Fairview Container Terminal is
once again on the minds of officials
from Seattle-Tacoma
The success of the Fairview Container Terminal and the growing volume of traffic that passes through it has long been on the radar of America port operators up and down the American west coast.

However with Fairview now making its mark in world shipping circles and with more and more sipping lines exploring the Prince Rupert option , the curiosity of what they're doing up in Rupert is it appears starting to give way to the need for a strategic plan to re-balance the trade as the American port officials suggest.

Seattle Television station KING 5 has just completed a series on the Canadian competition far to the Northwest of Seattle-Tacoma, with the US television station following up on a recent visit from Kurt Beckett, who is the deputy CEO of the Seattle-Tacoma based Northwest SeaPort Alliance.

The two part series hosted by Chris Daniels focuses on the concept of Prince Rupert as a threat to the Seattle/Tacoma economy and KING 5 takes a fairly thorough look at the North Coast.

Finding that despite what they describe as the rudimentary road structure and relative isolation of the place, the impact of the terminal is immense in the community, noting that the sales job that the Prince Rupert Port Authority has put towards attracting business has proven to be quite successful.

The report in particular explores how cargo unloaded at Fairview can make its way far into the US with Terminal options in Chicago, Memphis and as far as New Orleans.

As part of the comparisons between Prince Rupert and Seattle-Tacoma, KING 5 interviewed both Don Krusel of the Prince Rupert Port Authority and long time Prince Rupert resident John McNish, both noted that the arrival of the Container Terminal at Fairview has had a significant impact on the community.

Both recount for the American network the collapse of the Northwest economy, with Mr. Krusel noting that the Fairview container concept was a bit of a Hail Mary pass to revive the ports fortunes in the region.

Pilot Ken Cote gets a close up as he flies the KING 5 Crew over the North Coast and Prince Rupert's unique transportation between the airport and the city also get a shout out during the report.

In addition to the local observations, Greg D'Avignon the president of the Business Council of British Columbia noted that there had been significant labour peace on the Canadian docks in recent years.

That's something that has not been the case from Washington State down to California in the last decade, which has seen a number of labour disputes, with some of their previous customers looking to Canada for more reliable shipment timelines.

KING 5 also takes a look at the ongoing expansion of Fairview and the promise of further growth that may be ahead for the facility.

And while Canadian port officials may think of the concern from the south as amusing, the very real gains made by the Fairview Terminal clearly are providing for a challenge for Mr. Beckett's organization.

He is calling for a level playing field in the US, noting that the Canadian ports do not have a Harbor Maintenance Tax that American ports have to deal with, something he notes in the King 5 report as a bit of a Canadian Free Ride.

His organization is also calling on the US to invest millions of dollars in the Seattle and Tacoma infrastructure in order to keep the southern terminals up to the changes that constantly are evolving in the world of shipping.

You can review the full report from KING five from this link to their website.

The Video from the Two Part series can be found below:

Part One
Part Two

For more items related to the Fairview Container Terminal see our archive here.

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