Monday, January 18, 2021

Prince Rupert Port Authority boasts of record year despite pandemic times

Fairview Terminal on the Prince Rupert waterfront
(photo from PRPA )

The Port of Prince Rupert has set another record when it comes to annual cargo volumes, with the port relaying the background today to the volume of 32.4 million tonnes of cargo that flowed through the various terminals on the waterfront despite the challenging times presented by COVID-19.

The diversified nature of the Port of Prince Rupert helped
to deliver another year of record performance in 2020

(Chart from PRPA)

In their information release the port observes of a rise in exports of coal, propane, and wood pellets. Ridley Terminal saw a year-over-year increase of 26 percent, driven by demand for thermal coal. AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal marked its first full year of operation in May 2020 and ended the year with 1,159,207 tonnes loaded onto 27 vessels bound for Asia. Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s Westview Terminal had a record year, exporting 1,474,301 tonnes of wood pellets, an increase of 33 percent over 2019. 

For the Fairview Container facility the port outlines that despite Factory shutdowns in Asia and locked down economies in North America which caused a 19 percent drop in container traffic in the second quarter, volumes rebounded at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal, with the container Terminal finishing a mere six percent down with 1,141,390 TEUs moving through the Port for the year, attributed mostly to a decline in the volume of empty containers being shipped through Prince Rupert back to Asia. 

While cargo volumes grew in 2020, the port observed of the challenges that 2020 provided for passenger volumes, which dropped off significantly in the last year, that with the cancellation of the summer cruise season and BC Ferries experiencing a steep decline in ridership. 

Towards the future, the Prince Rupert Port Authority continues to work closely with the cruise industry and local stakeholders to determine the best way to welcome back passengers when Transport Canada allows international travel and removes the no sail order, which restricts cruise vessels from calling on Canadian ports. 

Shaun Stevenson, CEO and President of th Prince Rupert Authority outlined how the Port and its partners 'weathered the storms' that were delivered by COVID-19 in 2020 and remain focused on the year ahead.

“In a year marred by uncertainty, the Port of Prince Rupert has facilitated increased trade in support of Canada’s economic health through the pandemic enabling over $50 billion in international trade. Thanks to the diversification of our cargoes, and the commitment and determination to maintain a safe working environment through the pandemic by our Port partners and the men and women working in the gateway industry in northern British Columbia, the Port of Prince Rupert’s operations have remained resilient. Weathering the storms triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, our Port has handily proven its resiliency, efficiency, and reliability as a key strategic trade gateway for Canada.”

Today's statement also took note of the progress being realized through the Port's ongoing infrastructure and expansion projects, including the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor, the southern expansion for DP World's Fairview facility and the progress being delivered towards the proposed Ridley Island Export Logistics platform.

“We continue to advance the development of critical infrastructure and expansion projects that support the resilience of the gateway operations, and the growth and diversification of cargo handling capabilities and capacities at the Port Prince Rupert. By expanding trade enabling infrastructure, we will not only support our local economy, but will be poised to offer Canadian industries a competitive edge as the global economy rebounds from the effects of the pandemic.” -- Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the PRPA

The full overview of the cargo summaries of 2020 can be explored further here.

The information statement hailing today's notes on the year that was for the Port can be reviewed here.

Further notes on Port themes and developments can be reviewed from our archive page.

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