Port of Prince Rupert: building on speed and reliability

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

Canada’s Port of Prince Rupert appears to be emerging from the worldwide economic slump with a vengeance, with plans for several new additions to meet customer needs, including a logistics park.
To the end of February this year the port’s Fairview terminal handled a total of 53,917.3 TEUs compared to 26,255.8 TEUs for the same period last year; a 105.4 percent increase. The terminal on British Columbia’s north coast also handled 38,018.5 loaded TEUs compared t0 17,025.8 loaded TEUs for the same period a year ago; a 123.3% increase in loaded boxes.
Don Krusel, President and CEO of the port said in a recent interview the port’s success is being built on the fact that the Canadian port can deliver a container to key U.S. cities such as Chicago and Memphis three to four days earlier than a container shipped from ports on the U.S. West Coast, and do it consistently.
This speed and reliability provided by the port’s only railway, Canadian National, has impressed customers in the U.S. Midwest and Central Canada, he said and the port’s challenge now is to capitalize on this speed and reliability and expand the capacity of Fairview Terminal by launching a second container terminal to handle the growing volumes and meet customer needs for a logistics park to handle the exchange of goods between containers and trucks that will access the park using the Yellowhead Highway Corridor.
As well, Krusel said the port is actively pursuing plans to diversify the existing Prince Rupert Grain Ltd. Terminal by adding equipment for secondary processing and the capacity to stuff containers with agricultural products and to expand the existing Ridley Terminals Inc. coal loading facility with the addition of equipment for loading sulphur, wood pellets, bulk liquids and potash, all of which are primary commodities produced in the northern areas of Canada’s four Western Provinces.
The “Bulk Terminal Cluster” of terminals will be dedicated to fertilizers such as potash, bulk liquids such as petroleum produces, chemicals and vegetable oils such as canola oil, ethanol, biodiesel and mineral concentrates while the “General Cargoes Cluster” will be dedicated to project cargo destined to the Alberta Oil Sands, the mining industry and wind farm projects and break-bulk cargo including forest products and steel.
As well, an auto terminal has been included in the plans for Prince Rupert to provide the industry with a fast, reliable rail transportation corridor into the Midwest and Central Canada.
Given China’s recent interest in buying into Canadian companies, such as those in the Alberta Oilsands we asked whether the Port of Prince Rupert had met with Asian interests wanting to invest in an oil loading terminal or bulk agri-terminal at the port. Stevenson replied: “There has been, and continues to be, significant interest from a number of parties, including Asian interests, in establishing a variety of terminal operations and other businesses at the Port of Prince Rupert. We are fortunate to be able to offer some of the best industrial development property available in North America with direct links to CN’s northern mainline to major North American hubs.”

American Journal of Transportation