Hub of BC’s North
Last year was a record year in volume for Port of Prince Rupert. According to the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA), a grand total of 29.9 million tonnes of cargo moved through the Port of Prince Rupert in 2019—that’s 12% more than the 26.7 million tonnes handled the previous year and the highest total volume to date.
Strong performance at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal was a catalyst for the positive overall growth. That location experienced more than 1.2 million TEUs at an increase of 17% over 2018. Also leading the trend were the addition of propane volume through AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal and growth in coal handled at Ridley Terminal where cargo levels were up 18% over the previous year. Northland Cruise Terminal also saw a year-over-year increase in passenger volumes of 35%, totalling over 12,400 visitors to Prince Rupert through cruise travel.
“The Port of Prince Rupert’s consistent record-breaking annual volumes confirms the Port’s growing role in Canadian trade,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The Port of Prince Rupert has a reputation for offering strategic advantages to shippers. The 2019 volumes illustrate the growing market demand for the Prince Rupert gateway and further validates our plans for growth and expansion over the next several years.”
Future development and expansion programs are in part fuelled by the Government of Canada investing $153.7 million to support three critical trade infrastructure projects at the Port of Prince Rupert. The funds have been allocated through the government’s National Trade Corridors Fund.
The Port’s activity is expected to grow to over 50 million tonnes of trade annually over the next ten years. The continued growth of cargo volume through the Port of Prince Rupert represents an increase in Canadian trade, regional economic development and employment, and continued participation of local First Nations in the region’s gateway economy.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority, in partnership with CN, were the recipients of $60.6 million for the Zanardi Bridge and Causeway project. The project will reduce operational conflicts and increase rail capacity to the Port of Prince Rupert to accommodate future growth in import and export trade for all current and future terminals.
Another $49.85 million was earmarked for developing the rail infrastructure required to service the Ridley Island Export Logistics Platform project. This project focuses on an expansion of the existing Road, Rail and Utility Corridor to further enable unit train access.
Rail infrastructure is a precursor to a large-scale bulk transload facility, a large-scale breakbulk transload facility, and an integrated off-dock container yard. The Road Rail Utility Corridor expansion will create a platform to attract private-sector investment in export transloading and warehouse capacity at the port.
The Metlakatla Development Corporation, the economic development arm of the Metlakatla First Nation, was the recipient of $43.3 million toward the Metlakatla Import Logistics Park project. The project consists of a 25-hectare site development on South Kaien Island that will enable transload and warehouse operations to provide increased flexibility and value-added capabilities for import supply chains. The Import Logistics Park is a strategic complement to the Export Logistics Platform and will be fully integrated into DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal and the Port’s intermodal ecosystem to ensure unparalleled efficiency and fluidity.
These projects are already contributing positively to the success of Port of Prince Rupert and its surrounding communities.
A study released in 2019 by the Prince Rupert Port Authority revealed that employment associated with moving trade through northern BC to the Port of Prince Rupert has grown from 5,200 jobs to 6,200 jobs since 2016.
The economic impact study analyzed a wide variety of factors based on the 26.7 million tonnes shipped through the Port in 2018 and determined significant economic and employment benefits continue to grow throughout the northern BC region.
In total, the international trade cargo handled in 2018 at the Port of Prince Rupert was valued at approximately $50 billion and the business of transporting that trade through the gateway created $1.5 billion of economic activity in the region.
Learn more about the study and Port of Prince Rupert development and activities at www.rupertport.com
Strong performance at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal was a catalyst for the positive overall growth.