Port of Vancouver

Port of Vancouver

The Port of Vancouver is the largest port in Canada, the largest in the Pacific Northwest, and the largest port on the West Coast of North America by metric tons of total cargo with 76.5 million metric tons. [http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/Statistics/WORLD%20PORT%20RANKINGS%202005.xls "World Port Rankings - 2005"] - Port Industry Statistics - American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) - Updated May 1, 2007 - (Microsoft Excel *.XLS document)] In terms of container traffic measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), the port ranks as the largest port in Canada, the largest in the Pacific Northwest, the fourth largest port on the West Coast of North America, and fifth largest in North America overall. [http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/PDFs/2006%5FNorth%5FAmerican%5FContainer%5FTraffic.pdf "North American Port Container Traffic - 2006"] - Port Industry Statistics - American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) - Updated May 14, 2007 - (Adobe Acrobat *.PDF document)]

The Port of Vancouver trades $43 billion in goods with more than 90 trading economies annually. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is the corporation responsible for management of the port, which, in addition to the city of Vancouver, includes all of Burrard Inlet and Roberts Bank Superport in Delta.


The Port has 25 major marine terminals: three container, seventeen bulk cargo and five break bulk cargo.

The Centerm container and break bulk terminals are leased by P&O Ports, which was acquired by Dubai Ports World in 2005.

Economic impact

The Port generates 30,100 direct jobs through its activities. Employment is generated by five sectors related to the Port: maritime cargo, cruise industry, capital investment in Port facilities, shipbuilding and repair, and non-maritime enterprises. Maritime cargo is the largest of the sectors, generating more than 21,000 direct jobs. The cruise sector is the next largest, generating almost 5,600 direct jobs. Factoring in the multiplier effects (including indirect jobs), the Port has a total employment impact of 69,200 jobs across all five sectors. The jobs created by the Port are on average 52% higher than the average wage in British Columbia.

The Port contributed $1.8 billion dollars in direct GDP and $4.1 billion dollars in direct economic output to the Canadian economy in 2004. When multiplier effects are taken into account, these figures increase to $4.0 billion in GDP and $8.9 billion in economic output. The Port's economic impact extends into Western Canada and beyond, with most of the exports shipped through the Port produced outside of Greater Vancouver, and many of the imports intended for markets outside of the Lower Mainland.

The Port is the home port for the Vancouver-Alaska cruise, which occurs annually from May to September, with more than 1-million revenue passengers on about 300 sailings passing through the Port's two cruise terminals: Canada Place and Ballantyne. In 2006 the Port will host 28 ships at its two cruise terminals.


In 2006 the Port handled 79.4 million tonnes, up 4% from 2005's 76.5 million tonnes. In 2005 the Port handled 1.7 million total containers, 910,172 cruise passengers, and 105,246 foreign vessels.

In 2005 the Port's top import and export partner nations were:
* China - 16,310
* Japan - 15,574
* South Korea - 7,145
* United States - 3,647
* Brazil - 3,101
* Germany - 2,727
* Taiwan - 2,594
* Mexico - 1,742
* India - 1,719
* Italy - 1,638

Container terminal expansion

Studies indicate that container traffic on the West Coast of North America is expected to triple in the next 20 years. [ [http://www.gov.bc.ca/ecdev/down/bc_ports_strategy_sbed_mar_18_05.pdf "British Columbia Ports Strategy"] - Ministry of Small Business and Economic Development & Ministry of Transportation - Province of British Columbia - March 18, 2005 - (Adobe Acrobat *.PDF document)] [ [http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/PacificGateway/index.htm Pacific Gateway Overview] Ministry of Transportation - Province of British Columbia] [ [http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/PacificGateway/reference.htm Pacific Gateway Reference Materials] Ministry of Transportation - Province of British Columbia] [Raine, George. [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/259042_containerships10.html "Containerization changed shipping industry forever"] - San Francisco Chronicle - (c/o Seattle Post-Intelligencer) - Friday, February 10, 2006] The Port of Vancouver has the opportunity to capture nearly TEU|7-million|first=yes by 2020. In order to meet future requirements, the VPA has examined options to increase the port's container terminal capacity. In August 2002, the VPA announced the beginning of the process. The VPA is looking at a three-pronged approach to increasing container capacity at the Port of Vancouver:

* Efficiencies at existing terminals
* Expansion at existing terminals
* Building new facilities

However, the Port of Prince Rupert is also looking to capture the expected increase in container traffic. While both Vancouver and Prince Rupert have direct rail lines to major US destinations such as Chicago, the location of Prince Rupert has the logistical advantage of being closer to major Asian ports.



The Port of Vancouver and downtown core in 1929. Dotted lines are water taxi services to North Vancouver, Indian Arm, West Vancouver, Howe Sound and beyond. Llose-up of British Columbia Electric Railway system map (click to enlarge)] With the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, Vancouver’s seaport was able to compete with the major international ports for global trade because it was positioned as an alternative route to Europe. During the 1920s, the provincial government successfully fought to have freight rates that discriminated against goods transported by rail through the mountains eliminated, giving the young lawyer of the case, future Vancouver Mayor and Canadian senator, Gerry McGeer, a reputation as “the man who flattened the Rockies.” [Nicol, Eric. "Vancouver". Toronto: Doubleday, 1970.] Consequently, prairie wheat came west through Vancouver rather than being shipped out through eastern ports. The federal government established the Harbour Commission (forerunner to the Port Authority) in the early 1920s to oversee port development. With its completion in 1923, Ballantyne Pier was the most technologically advanced port in the British Empire. [ [http://www.pacificgatewayportal.com/video/yesterday.htm “Port of Vancouver – Yesterday."] [video] Port of Vancouver [website] .] The CPR, lumber exporters, terminal operators, and other companies based on the waterfront banded together after the Great War to establish the Shipping Federation of British Columbia as an employers’ association to manage industrial relations on the increasingly busy waterfront. [Yarmie, Andrew. “The Right to Manage: Vancouver Employers’ Associations, 1900-1923,” "BC Studies", no. 90 (1991): 40-74.] The Federation fought vociferously against unionization, defeating a series of strikes and breaking unions until the determined longshoremen established the current ILWU local after the Second World War. [Phillips, Paul A. "No Power Greater: A Century of Labour in British Columbia". Vancouver: BC Federation of Labour/Boag Foundation, 1967.] By the 1930s, commercial traffic through the port had become the largest sector in Vancouver’s economy. [Leah Stevens, “Rise of the Port of Vancouver,” "Economic Geography" 12, no. 1 (January 1936): 61-70, and R. C. McCandless, “Vancouver’s ‘Red Menace’ of 1935: The Waterfront Situation,” "BC Studies" 22 (1974): 56-70.]


On January 1, 2008, the Port of Vancouver officially amalgamated with two other local port authorities, the North Fraser Port Authority and the Fraser River Port Authority, into a new organization, called the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. [ [http://www.vfpa.ca/aboutus/aboutvfpa.aspx] About Us - Vancouver Fraser Port Authority]

References and notes

External links

* [http://www.portvancouver.com/ Official Port of Vancouver site]
* [http://www.portvancouver.com/the_port/burrard.html Burrard Inlet]
* [http://www.portvancouver.com/the_port/roberts.html Roberts Bank]

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