Thursday, January 18, 2024

2023 brought Five percent decline in annual shipment volume for Prince Rupert Port Authority

The Prince Rupert Port Authority released the final data 
for 2023, a year for decline overall, though with some positives

The final numbers for 2023 have been released by the Prince Rupert Port Authority and as were the indications as far back as the summer, the 365 days of 2023 saw some slippage for the main economic engine for the North Coast.

In an announcement released today, the Port outlined that 23.5 million tonnes of cargo moved through the various shipment terminals of the Port Gateway, that makes for a decline of 5 percent from 2022. 

The PRPA noting how 2023 marked the third consecutive year of volume declines, something the port attributes to global shipping challenges  shifting transit routes and soft demand for imports.

Added to that mix is a very competitive global shipping industry that has the PRPA forging ahead towards further development towards sustainable options and diversification plans.

“The Port of Prince Rupert is at a critical juncture, and we are focused on actively expanding the services, capacity, and capabilities required to strengthen our competitive advantage that trade partners and industry have come to rely on and grow our gateway. 

The 2023 results underscore the importance of the projects already underway to develop large-scale transloading infrastructure and build new energy export facilities. These developments will open a new chapter in intermodal trade at the Port and anchor Canada’s role in global energy security for decades to come.” -- Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority.

Of that five percent decline overall for the Port in 2023, DP Worlds Fairview Container Terminal suffered the large decrease at their segment of the port footprint

The port providing for a short synopsis of the year that was for the Container facility.

DP World Prince Rupert’s Fairview Container Terminal saw a 32 percent decrease in volumes in 2023. 

This significant drop is due to a broader decline in North American intermodal imports and strong competition on Transpacific trade routes. 

Terminal performance was also impacted by labour action that halted operations for 13 days in Q3.   

Energy shipments through Port facilities and other terminals saw AltaGas on Ridley Island see an increase, while the Pembina Facility at Watson Island realized a decrease in numbers for 2022.

Demand for western Canadian energy products was strong in 2023, with AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal shipping nearly 2 million tonnes, a 13 percent increase over 2022. 

Pembina’s Watson Island LPG Bulk Terminal entered its third year of operations, handling close to 494,000 tonnes, an eight percent decrease year-over-year. 

Drax’s Westview Wood Pellet Terminal shipped 1.3 million tonnes to markets in Europe and Asia, marking a slight decline from a year ago.  

Coal shipments through the Trigon Terminal facility provided for a significant spike in volumes with a 51 percent increase from the year before.

Trigon Pacific Terminals also saw a strong year, moving 8.8 million tonnes of dry bulk product through its terminal, including 5.4 million tonnes of metallurgical coal. Shipments of that product saw a 51 percent jump over 2022.  

Prince Rupert Grain also realized an increase from 2022 to 2023, with a strong harvest year pushing shipments up by 11 percent. 

And 2023, was a year that saw the Cruise industry make strong gains in attracting visitors to Prince Rupert, with growth doubling from one year ago.

Cruise traffic almost doubled over 2022 volumes, with 81,327 cruise passengers transiting through Prince Rupert in 2023. It was also the first year that cruise terminal operations, scheduling, passenger services, and shore excursions were managed by Global Ports Holding (GPH) – the world’s largest independent cruise port operator.

In their year end review, the Port also highlights some of the work moving forward through 2024 as they expand on the port footprint and begin further diversification of product shipments.  

Those initiatives involve the Ridley Island Export Logistics Project and the Ridley Energy Export Facility.

The notes also outline how Global Ports Holdings plans to expand on their work in 2023 to further increase cruise passenger volumes.

More notes on Port related themes and those of the terminals that make for the Prince Rupert Gateway can be explored through our archive page.


  1. Did anyone else notice that the fault for a 3 year decline is attributed to seemingly every reason other than the PRPA being one of the least efficient ports in North America?

    If everything is outside of your control when times are bad, you cannot then claim credit for when times are good

    1. Bentley's second Law of Economics: The only thing more dangerous than an economist is an amateur economist!