Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Container throughput volumes at DP World down for 2023, while remainder of PRPA terminals see more reassuring trends

The monthly numbers for February show declines for the DP World
Container facility and a surge in shipments for Prince Rupert Grain

(image from PRPA)

The monthly statistical review from the Prince Rupert Port Authority towards the range of Terminals on the waterfront provides a glimpse into some of the headwinds facing the Global container shipping industry so far this year.  

With a dramatic change in volumes recored for the DP World facility in the first two months of this year.

It's a change that if you have friends or family on the lower reaches of the ILWU call out board probably have first hand experience with. 

That through fewer and fewer call outs for work in recent weeks owing to the slowdown of containers handled on the Prince Rupert waterfront.

The PRPA information review notes that from year to year 2022-2023 the February volumes at DP World  Fairview are down significantly,  with a 281,985 tonne decline In throughput between this year and last.

We forwarded correspondences to both DP World and the PRPA towards those numbers and what impact that those results may have on plans for the future. 

So far we've heard back from the Prince Rupert Port Authority, with Katherine Voigt, Manager of Corporations at the PRPA, noting of the global challenges that have been found for the view of the current situation.

This is a challenging time for the container shipping industry given the global supply chain disruptions, shifting competitive landscape, and recent declines in North American imports. Prince Rupert has been impacted by all of these factors, and it’s reflected in recent container volumes.

Ms. Voigt also noted what the port's longer term vision for containers is.

Investment in new intermodal infrastructure and logistics capabilities at the Port of Prince Rupert isn’t just about growth, it’s a direct response to these global competitiveness challenges and ensuring we have a sustainable intermodal business for decades to come.

As we noted earlier this month, some of that investment continues to move forward, with the recent update on plans for a Logistics Terminal on the southern tip of Ridley Island which would have a direct link to the DP World Facility.

As the Port notes, Prince Rupert is not alone when it comes to reduced volumes as part of a slowing of global trade and other economic issues.
That slowdown has been recorded along the West Coast, including at one of the largest container ports in North America at Long Beach, California which  realized a thirty percent plus decline in February from one year ago.

While the Container Terminal may be seeing reduced throughput, some of the other Export Terminals on the Prince Rupert waterfront are faring much better, which bodes well for the Port's ongoing efforts towards trade diversification for the Prince Rupert Gateway.

Prince Rupert Grain has had a strong start to 2023 for export shipments
(Image from PRPA)

One terminal finding some very good numbers in February was the Prince Rupert Grain Terminal which nearly doubled the volume from one year ago.

As for some of the other Terminals, Trigon Pacific Terminal, Westview Pellet Terminal and the Watson Island Bulk Terminal all had results that for the most part mirrored those of one year ago.

Those results helped to balance off the Container Port reductions to make for a similar volume of foreign cargo for February 2023 as what was found in 2022.  

The surge in Grain shipments helping to push the Year To Date totals to higher than 2022.

More notes on Port related themes is available from our archive page.

1 comment:

  1. Very good analysis comparing to what’s happening with other ports along the West Coast of North America …

    “ Prince Rupert is not alone when it comes to…”

    I hope to see a similar statement come tax time comparing Prince Rupert’s proposed tax increase to other cities given the challenges of inflation, RCMP contract, etc.