Port Metro posts growth despite truckers’ strike
Port Metro Vancouver handled over 69 million tonnes of cargo in the first six months of 2014 — a 3.6% jump over the same period last year despite a strike by truck drivers.
Mid-year cargo volumes show export tonnage grew by 2.9%, while imports saw a 6.5% spike. Coal continues to be the commodity with the largest traffic volume at the port, accounting for 19 million tonnes in this period.
The overall increase is part of an ongoing trend for the port, which posted 6% growth rates in the first half of both 2013 and 2012. This year’s dip can likely be attributed to the truck drivers’ strike in February and March and cold winter temperatures, which affect the amount of weight trains can carry, said John Parker-Jervis, a spokesman for PMV.
Despite these factors, numbers quickly rebounded in June, while the port saw a record number of inbound containers in July.
The port’s continuing growth is in line with industry predictions that container shipping traffic on Canada’s west coast could double in the next 10 years, said Parker-Jervis. He added that infrastructure and container capacity developments throughout the port’s network are underway to meet that expected demand, which is due to an increase of Canadian exports in forest, grain and agricultural products, as well as a growth in the import of consumer products.