Friday, May 15, 2020

Coal shipments UP, Container Shipments DOWN among themes from April Port Data

The Renaissance for Coal Shipments out of Prince Rupert continues, with the Ridley Island Terminal facility finding increased shipment in these early months of 2020.

The good news for RTI can be tracked through the April release of data from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. With the coal handling facility cracking the  one million tonnes shipped listing as April came to an end.

With volume of 1,033, 597, the Ridley throughput makes for impressive numbers compared to 748,449 tonnes of April 2019. That has made for an increase of almost 1 million tonnes in year to date shipments.

The increase in shipment volumes comes following the signing of a number of contracts with coal producers to ship product to Asia through the Prince Rupert gateway.

While coal shipments have gone up, Container movements have seen some declines up to April of 2020. With Fairview's numbers showing a drop of 60,000 tonnes from this time last year.

Overall the YTD decline is just over 165,000 tonnes

The International Trade publication Benzinga notes that Prince Rupert and Long Beach, California have been the two ports on the West Coast that have seen the most impact from the COVID-19 emergency which has seen reduced shipments over the last few months.

Their notes indicate that both have seen reductions in port visits of 20 to 25%

Also on the waterfront it's been a good first quarter for the Westview Terminal facility, which saw an increase in the shipment of wood pellets to market through to the end of April.

The Terminal on the west side of the city more than doubled their shipment volume from April to April and has seen an increase of over 80,000 tonnes year to date from last years totals.

Prince Rupert Grain has also marked some success into April, with an increase of 57,000 tonnes from the April to April comparison, however Year to Date numbers show the Grain Terminal slightly behind the levels reached one year ago.

The arrival of COVID and the suspension of the AMHS service to Ketchikan has had a significant impact on the volume of ferry passengers through the two Prince Rupert terminals.

The BC Ferries Terminal in Prince Rupert has not
seen a larger volume of passengers in 2020 so far

The April to April numbers indicate a precipitous drop from 3500 of 2019 to but 626 passengers this April.  Year to Date the gap is even more startling with passenger levels halved from one year ago.

You can review the full report on Cargo volumes here.

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