Prince Rupert to add second container terminal, quadruple capacity

South Kaien Island identified as site for 2.5 million unit handling facility

British Columbia’s northern Prince Rupert port is looking at quadrupling its container handled capacity long term and doubling it by 2022, Prince Rupert Port Authority has announced.

Recntly concluded master planning has concluded there is potential for further expansion of the existing Fairview Terminal and the development of a second container terminal on South Kaien Island site.  

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The new terminal would be able to handle 2.5 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) annually.

That expansion potential was identified after the expansion of Fairview Terminal was announced with DP World in 2018. Fairview’s handling capacity is expected to grow from its current 1.35 million to 1.8 million TEUs by 2022.

The port said both current and future terminal sites are close to supply chain logistics infrastructure.

Port authority president Shaun Stevenson said the work is partly a response to increased capacity demand at the port.

“The terminal development potential identified in the study ensures that we can accommodate the short-, medium- and long-term supply chain needs of Canadian exporters while continuing to provide the unparalleled reach, reliability and speed shippers have come to expect at the Port of Prince Rupert.”

The Port of Prince Rupert is among North America’s fastest growing.

Container traffic jumped 12%, four times Vancouver’s 3% increase, to 1,036,009 TEUs last year from 926,539 in 2017.

All other Prince Rupert terminals combined realized a 10% increase, with 26.67 million metric tonnes (MMT) moved compared with 24.17 MMT in 2017.

Prince Rupert Grain Ltd., which handles barley, canola, oats, soybeans and wheat, saw a 6% cargo decline from 5.77 MMT in 2017 to 5.44 MMT in 2018. Coke and coal traffic jumped 21% to 9.12 MMT from 7.56.

Prince Rupert plans to increase annual throughput capacity to 1.8 million TEUs by 2022 from 1.3 million TEUs. The port moved past the one-million-container-per-year mark December 18.

Prince Rupert’s potential terminal traffic received a boost March 27 when the world’s 11th-largest container carrier, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, announced it had partnered with the 2M Alliance vessel-sharing agreement and added Prince Rupert to its North American trade loop.

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