VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Port of Vancouver moved a record number of containers in 2002, increasing overall container traffic by 27 per cent.
Nearly 1.5 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) were moved through the Port of Vancouver. Containerized imports were up 34 per cent over the previous year with full imports increasing 39 per cent.
“Continued strong domestic consumer demand coupled with Vancouver’s status as an alternative gateway, fuelled container increases to new records,” announced Capt. Gord Houston, president and chief executive officer of the port.
Total exports were also up substantially, but it’s the first time at the Port of Vancouver that full imports exceeded full exports. However, despite the increase in container traffic, total tonnage through the port fell 14 per cent to 62.8 million tons.
Total dry bulk shipments also declined, but 22 per cent. Meanwhile shipments of the port’s largest commodity, coal, slipped 15 per cent.
“While the Port of Vancouver experienced a mixed year across its sectors in an uncertain business climate, it is clear that the Port of Vancouver is an economic force with potential for solid growth,” says David Stone, chairman of the Vancouver Port Authority (VPA).
The VPA feels it can grow its business substantially by 2020 if the federal government revamps the Marine Act to allow the port to seek capital from new sources.
“We have the potential to be one of the brightest economic development and job creation engines in B.C. But achieving this promise will require that certain challenges are met, including regulatory issues, access to capital, infrastructure requirements and competitive threats from U.S. ports,” says Houston.
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