Business

Port of Prince Rupert hits another tonnage record in 2013

Fairview Terminal saw a five per cent drop in tonnage in 2013 compared to 2012 figures. - File photo
Fairview Terminal saw a five per cent drop in tonnage in 2013 compared to 2012 figures.
— image credit: File photo

Despite a slight drop in traffic at Fairview Terminal, the Port of Prince Rupert had another record year in 2013.

At Fairview, there was a five per cent drop in tonnage through the terminal last year, with 536,439 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo being moved through Fairview Terminal by the end of 2013 compared to 564,856 in 2012.

Fairview had 303,840 TEUs imported through the terminal last year, down nearly 4.5 per cent from 2012 when 318,067 TEUs were imported.

Exports were also down in 2013 by close to six per cent, with 232,599 TEUs being shipped out of Prince Rupert in contrast to 246,789 TEUs in 2012. While exports may have been down, the number of loaded containers exported through Fairview was up by more than 20 per cent while the number of empty containers decreasing by close to 34 per cent.

"We acknowledge the slight year over year container decline overall. The real story is the fact that success is measured not just in growth but how a port operates. The Port of Prince Rupert's ability to be flexible, operate responsibly and safely and to grow in specific ways in the midst of changing market conditions makes it a successful port," said Michael Gurney, the Prince Rupert Port Authority's manager of corporate communications.

"The interesting about Fairview Terminal is that when it was opened in 2007 it was originally thought of as an import terminal for consumer goods for North American markets. What we're seeing now is a shift where packed in those containers being exported are B.C. and Canadian resources destined for Asian markets. There's been a kind of reversal.

Every other terminal saw increases in 2013, with log exports from the harbour seeing the highest gains. Last year Harbour Terminal had 417,527 tonnes move through the operation, up 27.5 per cent from 2012 when 327,351 tonnes were exported.

Prince Rupert Grain's exports increased by 8.5 per cent in 2013, moving 5,136,602 tonnes  compared to 4,731,469 tonnes in 2012.

Ridley Terminal also saw an increase in the amount of coal exported through the operation last year, with 12,072,211 tonnes compared to 11,530,777 in 2012, which sets another record to RTI.

The result is a 3.4 per cent increase in tonnage through the Port of Prince Rupert, with 23,002,215 tonnes being moved in 2013 compared to 22,246,826 tonnes in 2012

For the month of December, Fairview Terminal saw an 18 per cent decrease in the TEUs being moved through the operation, with 39,993 TEUs in December 2013 compared to 48,932 in the same month of 2012. These numbers equal a 17 per cent decrease in imports and a just-under 20 per cent decrease in exports.

Harbour Terminal saw a massive increase month-over-month in December of nearly 206 per cent and Ridley Terminal saw an increase of 20 per cent this December compared to last.

While Prince Rupert Grain saw an increase in tonnage year over year, in December the terminal saw a 25 per cent decrease in tonnage moved compared to December 2012.

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