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Prince Rupert Port Authority sees 75 per cent increase to start 2013

Following a record year in 2012, the Prince Rupert Port Authority started the new year with a massive increase in traffic last month.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority's monthly traffic summary for January indicates Fairview Terminal handled 16.7 per cent more twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) than in January of last year, up from 44,477 to 51,923 TEUs.

Michael Gurney,corporate communications manager with the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said the growth was expected.

"We're continuing to see growth. Specifically, it's the container terminal at the forefront of being one of the fastest growing terminals in North America," he said.

Gurney attributes the terminal's success to a strong crew and a tight operation.

"It's so well run, in fact, last year we met and exceeded the original build capacity of the terminal, which was 500,000 TEUs. It looks as though this year we'll be bumping that number up even further."

Imports claimed the majority of the total numbers in January with 30,115 TEUs compared to 25,451 TEUs last January, while exports counted for 21,808 TEUs compared to 19,026 TEUs last year.

With expansion still underway at Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI), 807,645 tonnes of coal passed through the facility last month — a 162.5 per cent jump from January 2012.

"That's a healthy increase," said Gurney.

"And I think it's those kinds of numbers that justify the expansion at RTI."

Ridley saw an impressive 147 per cent spike in metallurgical coal and 111.8 per cent rise in thermal coal handling.

Rounding off a positive economic snapshot, Prince Rupert Grain also saw big gains this month: 71. 4 per cent more tonnage than last January, or 463,580 tonnes over 270,410.

Overall tonnage through the port of Prince Rupert was up 74.7 per cent this January compared to last January, sitting at 1.79 million tonnes compared to 1.03 million tonnes last year.

~By Quinn Bender

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