Business

Port of Prince Rupert tonnage down to begin 2014

Tonnage moving through the Port of Prince Rupert was down in January compared to the first month of 2013, though there is positive news when it comes to Fairview Terminal.

Last month, 49,191.8 twenty-foot equivalents (TEUs) were moved through Fairview Terminal all together, which is down 5.3 per cent when compared to January 2013's total TEU of 51,923.5.

Within that total, the number of loaded TEUs went up 12 per cent this January compared to last January, with 43,789.25 loaded TEU being moved through Fairview last month in contrast to 39,099.25 in January of 2013.

When compared month-over-month, the number of empty TEUs moved through Fairview Terminal decreased by 57.9 per cent, with 5,402.5 TEUs going through Fairview last month compared to 12,824.25 last January.

In January, the total number of TEUs imported through Fairview was 30,480.75, up 1.2 per cent from January 2013 when 30,115.25 TEUs were imported.

The total number of TEUs exported through the terminal was down 14.2 per cent last month, when 18,711 TEUs were exported in contrast to 21,808.25 in January of 2013. Of those exports, there was a 48 per cent increase in the number of loaded TEUs exported, with 13,308.5 TEUs being exported last month compared to 8,984 in January of 2013. The number of empty TEUs moved through Fairview was down 57.9 per cent when compared month-over-over, with 5,402.5 empty TEUs being moved last month compared to 12,824.25 in January of last year.

Michael Gurney, manager of corporate communications for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said one of the most noteworthy aspects of the statistics is the significant decrease in the number of empty TEUs passing through Fairview and the increase of loaded TEUs being both imported and exported.

"This is good news for the Port of Prince Rupert as it means both imports and exports continue to increase. When Fairview Terminal was first built, it was conceived as an import gateway for electronics and high-value merchandise manufactured in Asia and destined for North American markets. But increasingly we're seeing it become a two-way flow of containers as B.C. exports, specifically natural resources and speciality crops from the Canadian prairies, are being exported to Asian markets," he said.

All other Port of Prince Rupert operations saw a decline when compared month-over-over, with Ridley Terminal seeing the largest decrease. In January of this year 617,031 tonnes were moved in comparison to 807,645 tonnes in January 2013, a decline of 23.6 per cent.

Prince Rupert Grain saw a 5.7 per cent decrease in tonnage moved through the operation when comparing this January to last, with 436,992.5 tonnes being handled this January and 463,580.1 tonnes last January.

Westview Terminal wasn't in operation last January but saw 53,132 tonnes handled last month, and last January there was no movement at Harbour Terminal but last month the operation saw 60,145 tonnes moved.

In total, the Port of Prince Rupert handled 1.67 million tonnes last month compared to 1.8 million tonnes last January, a drop of 7.12 per cent to start the year.

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