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Port of Vancouver cargo continues record pace

2018-08-16

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority reports that the 2018 mid-year statistics for goods moving through the Port of Vancouver show overall cargo rising by 4.4 per cent to 72.1 million metric tonnes (MMT) over the same time last year to reach record volumes. Container traffic was also at record levels.

"This year's record mid-year results for cargo movement show balanced, steady growth across most business sectors, demonstrating the increasing strength of the Canadian economy and the Port of Vancouver's ability to handle Canada's growing trade with Asia, despite general trade uncertainty," said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

"The Port of Vancouver's ability to accommodate the most diversified range of cargo of any port in North America continues to be one of our greatest strengths and is a key factor that will enable us to continue to grow to meet Canada's future trade objectives."

Container volumes (measured in 20-foot equivalents or TEUs) increased by five per cent compared to mid-year 2017 to a record 1.64 million TEUs as a result of the growing demand for Canadian resources and products, and the increasing Canadian demand for consumer and manufacturing goods from Asia.

"Shippers continue to have confidence in the ability of the terminals, rail and shipping lines, truckers and other supply chain participants to handle the growing demand for goods shipped in containers," said Mr. Silvester.

 

However, forecasts show that Canadian West Coast container ports will be full by the mid-2020s, so the port authority is working to create new capacity. "We are partnering with our existing container terminals to expand and improve their operations," said Mr. Silvester, "but even with these improvements, further capacity will be required, highlighting the need for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project, a proposed new three-berth container terminal that would provide the space needed to meet forecasted demand for trade of goods in containers."

In other sectors beyond container trade, mid-year results show balanced growth, with increases in potash (23 per cent), autos (8 per cent), coal (9 per cent), forest products (4 per cent) and petroleum products (40 per cent) and declines in grain (-10 per cent), and chemicals and minerals (-5 per cent).  Breakbulk cargo was up more than 14 per cent.

"The long-term outlook for Canadian trade is one of growth, and all those who make up the Port of Vancouver are working hard to ensure we will be ready to handle the increased volumes through Canada's West Coast," added Mr. Silvester. " (Photo VPA)

 
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