Prince Rupert Port Expansion Sustaining its Strong Growth as North American Gateway

Prince Rupert Port Expansion Sustaining its Strong Growth as North American Gateway

October 19, 2018 Posted by Noor Subeh

Located on British Columbia's beautiful Pacific North Coast and at the mouth of the majestic Skeena River, Prince Rupert is Canada’s Northern Gateway for Asia-North American trade.

Prince Rupert is a transportation hub for Northern B.C., which is easily accessible by air (two-hour flight from Vancouver), ferry (B.C. Ferry or Alaska Marine Highway Ferry), rail (from Prince George) and highway 16. Framed and protected by coastal mountains and islands, Prince Rupert has the world’s second deepest, natural, ice-free harbour and is North America’s closest port to Asia.

Shippers have discovered that Port of Prince Rupert is the quickest, most reliable and cheapest route to ship products and materials from Asian factories into the U.S. heartland. On the return trip, empty containers create an opportunity for Canadian lumber and grain producers to expand exports to the world's fastest-growing markets. The town's proximity to Asia is a built-in advantage. Port of Prince Rupert and Port of Vancouver are Asia’s closest ports of entry on the west coast of North America – saving shippers over two days compared to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. A new LNG project will support the growth of another B.C. port, Port of Kitimat - a natural gas pipeline will be constructed from northeast B.C. to Kitimat where a new terminal will process and ship LNG to Asian markets.

The Port of Prince Rupert is sustaining its strong growth as a key North American gateway. In the first half of 2018, Prince Rupert's container volumes increased by 19% from the previous year. This is more than any other major gateway for Asian trade in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. The results of the Port’s 2016 economic impact study found that transportation of $35 Billion worth of exports and imports through the Port generated over $1 billion in annual economic activity and is creating new job opportunities for skilled workers across northern B.C.

More recently, the Fairview Terminal expansion is another great accomplishment for the Port of Prince Rupert. The expansion strengthens B.C.’s trading relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region while creating jobs and export opportunities for B.C. businesses. The Port of Prince Rupert and DP World have agreed to a project development plan outlining the next phase of expansion for the DP World Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal. The Phase 2B expansion will increase annual capacity at Canada’s second largest container terminal to 1.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) when complete in 2022. The Fairview Phase 2B project follows the 2017 completion of Fairview Phase 2A, which increased the terminal capacity by 500,000 TEUs to its current capacity of 1.35 million TEUs. Construction on Phase 2B will begin in mid-2019.

The execution of this agreement will bring a total of one million additional TEUs of container capacity to the Port of Prince Rupert in less than five years. This project will provide critical trade-enabling infrastructure for Canada’s west coast, a timely response to forecasted growth in trans-Pacific trade and is supportive of Canada’s efforts to diversify markets through new free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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