The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced another record year in volume. A grand total of 29.9 million tonnes of cargo moved through the Port of Prince Rupert in 2019 – 12% more than the 26.7 million tonnes handled the previous year and the highest total volume to date for the Port.
Supporting the overall positive trend was strong performance at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal with over 1.2 million TEUs at an increase of 17% over 2018, 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.”
PRPA’s latest economic impact study released in 2019 revealed that port-related growth has resulted in the Port of Prince Rupert handling approximately $50 billion in trade value annually and supports an estimated 3,600 direct supply-chain jobs in northern BC, $310 million in annual wages, and $125.5 million in annual government revenue.
In 2019, several infrastructure projects supporting growth and diversification at the Port of Prince Rupert were announced, including the Ridley Island Export Logistics Park, the Zanardi Bridge and Causeway Project, and the Metlakatla Import Logistics Park – all of which are supported by the Government of Canada’s $153.7 million investment through its National Trade Corridors Fund. Moreover, construction commenced on PRPA’s Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor. The 5.5-kilometre corridor will provide a physical platform for two new rail sidings and a private two-lane haul road between Fairview Container Terminal and Ridley Island.
An anticipated $2 billion in capital expansion projects starting in 2020 will support further cargo growth, including DP World’s Fairview Terminal expansion project that will bring the terminal’s capacity up to 1.8 million TEUs by 2022; the Vopak Pacific Terminal project, which is currently undergoing its environmental assessment and expects to make a final investment decision in 2020; as well as Pembina’s Prince Rupert Export Terminal, which is currently under construction and anticipates being operational in late 2020.