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VPA says new cranes will improve container movements

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Port of Vancouver may be crippled by a container trucker strike, but that hasn't deterred it...

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Port of Vancouver may be crippled by a container trucker strike, but that hasn’t deterred it from bringing in two of the world’s largest cranes to help expedite the movement of containers.

Two cranes worth $19.2 million have been shipped to the port from China where they will be used to move containers around the Centerm terminal at the Port of Vancouver. It’s part of a $148 million redevelopment project aimed at doubling the port’s capacity by March, 2006.

Each of the cranes is 35 storeys high and weighs about 1,350 tonnes.

“This is an exciting day for us and a major milestone in the redevelopment of Centerm, a project we began in August last year that is on schedule and on budget,” said P&O Ports Canada Inc., president and CEO, Darcy Clarkson. “It is evidence of P&O’s long term commitment to growth in Vancouver and we will be ready to handle the increased volume of containers that we know is coming.”

The Vancouver Port Authority estimates container volumes through the port will more than triple by 2020.

“These cranes represent a tangible step toward increased capacity and improved efficiency at the Port of Vancouver. We estimate that the Centerm expansion will generate $700 million in new economic activity every year. That will translate into thousands of jobs for people in our local communities, across British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada,” said Captain Gordon Houston, president and CEO of the Vancouver Port Authority.

The VPA says customers will benefit from increased productivity, faster handling and shorter vessel turnaround times. All those should also benefit the trucking companies and owner/operators serving the port, once they return to work.

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