Business

Traffic through Prince Rupert's Fairview Terminal down 10 per cent year-over-year in May

Prince Rupert's Fairview Terminal experienced its third straight month of double digit decline in May, with traffic essentially equal through the first five months of 2012 and 2013.

In May the terminal handed 41,249 TEUs, down 10 per cent from last May's 46,043 TEUs. Imports through Fairview Terminal dropped 12 per cent this May compared to last, sitting at 23,819 TEUs compared to 27,024 TEUs. While exports were down eight per cent overall, the number of loaded containers being shipped out was actually up 15 per cent and that was offset by a 40 per cent drop in empty TEUs being shipped out.

Those numbers follow a 43 per cent year-over-year drop in March and a 13 per cent drop in April.

So far in 2013 Fairview Terminal has handled 219,941 TEUs compared to 219,722 TEUs last year, a difference of 219 TEUs. Exports in 2013 are down three per cent, sitting at 121,476 TEUs, while imports are up four per cent, sitting at 98,465 TEUs.

"The 2013 yer-to-date numbers are comparable to 2012. When it comes to imports, the decline reflects a broader west coast phenomenon that saw a 17 per cent decline across western ports in March," Michael Gurney, manager of corporate communication for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said.

After dropping by 46 per cent year-over-year last month, Ridley Terminals had a strong rebound in May. Tonnage through the terminal was up 18 per cent, from 1.18 million tonnes to 1.39 million tonnes, led by a 318 per cent increase in petroleum coke. RTI remains on track for another record year having moved 5.14 million tonnes in 2013 compared to 4.29 million tonnes through the first five months of 2012, an increase of 20 per cent.

Prince Rupert Grain tonnage fell slightly this May compared to last, increasing by five per cent, and the terminal is up 10 per cent so far this year. The number of logs being exported through the harbour climbed 199 per cent this May, reaching 89,648 tonnes, and so far this year log exports are up 76 per cent compared to last year.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is also on pace to break last year's record tonnage. In May Prince Rupert handled 2.36 million tonnes compared to 2.16 million last year, a difference of nine per cent, and so far in 2013 the port has handled 13 per cent more tonnage than 2012.

"Overall year-to-date numbers are consistently impressive ... we're confident the performance of all terminals will remain steady for the remainder of 2013," said Gurney.

In terms of passenger numbers, BC Ferries is up six per cent so far this year while Alaska Ferries is down eight per cent.

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