The Port of Prince Rupert continues its impressive annual growth in shipment volumes, surpassing 10 million tons in 2007 for the first time in a decade. The 2007 total volume cargo of 10.6 million tons is a 36.8% increase over 2006 and a 237% jump over 2005.

Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) President & CEO Don Krusel says increasing global demand for industrial fuels including coal and petroleum coke, continued strong markets for agricultural products, start up of new lines of business including containers and wood pellets, and competitive advantages of shipping through Prince Rupert were all contributing factors to the Port’s exceptional 2007 performance.

“While 2007 represents a significant milestone and turning point for the Port of Prince Rupert on a number of fronts, Ridley Terminals and Prince Rupert Grain continue to lead the way,” notes Krusel. “Both terminals continue to elevate their performances and, combined with the opening of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal and start up of other operations such as wood pellets, have positioned us for strong growth in 2008 and beyond.”

Ridley Terminals’ (RTI) throughput of 5.09 million tons was an increase of 80.7% over 2006 and 500% increase over 2005. RTI also began shipping coking coal from Alberta as well as wood pellets from Houston, BC, through its newly constructed facility to world markets as a biodegradable fuel and coal substitute.

Prince Rupert Grain (PRG), recognized as one of the most productive North American grain terminals, achieved in excess of five million tons throughput in 2007 for the first time since 1994 and only the fourth time since the facility was built in 1984. Shipments were up 7.6% over 2006, and 87% higher over 2005.

The arrival of the first container ship from COSCO on October 31 at the recently completed Prince Rupert Container Terminal, the first dedicated intermodal container facility in North America, marked the opening of a new Asia-North America express trade corridor and heralded a new era for the Port of Prince Rupert. COSCO’s weekly service moved 16,703 teus through the facility for the two months of operation in 2007.

“Overall, the Prince Rupert Port Authority exceeded its throughput targets for 2007 while completing the ambitious container terminal project on time and on budget,” says PRPA Board of Directors Chair Dale MacLean. “Our focus now is to achieve full utilization of the 500,000 TEU facility and complete the groundwork to begin the construction of Phase 2 of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal by early 2009.”

Port of Prince Rupert highlights for 2007 include:

  • Prince Rupert Container Terminal completed on schedule and on budget and began operations October 31, 2007. Performance in first two months met and exceeded customer expectations.
  • Coal exports increased 89% with continued growth projected for 2008 as new coalmines come on stream in northern BC.
  • Start up of wood pellet shipment business at RTI to meet growing global demand for bio fuels to offset fossil fuel carbon emissions.
  • Continued strong global demand for agrifoods maintained high capacity throughput at PRG.