Port of Prince Rupert sees tonnage drop in first quarter of 2014

While most Prince Rupert terminals saw year-over-year increases in March, overall tonnage has dropped by more than 17 per cent in 2014.

While most Prince Rupert terminals saw year-over-year increases in March, overall tonnage has dropped by more than 17 per cent in 2014.

Last month, 43,451.5 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were moved through Fairview Terminal, which is up nearly 22.7 per cent from March 2013’s total of 35,424 TEUs. That included 24,125 TEUs imported through the operation, up 44.9 per cent from last March when 16,646.25 TEUs were, and 19,326.5 TEUs exported, up nearly three per cent from 18,777.75. Of the exports, there were close to 22 per cent more loaded TEUs shipped in March and a 30 per cent decrease in empty TEUs.

In the first quarter of 2014 there has been nearly 128,368.8 TEUs through Fairview, which is down 4.9 per cent when compared to the first three months of 2013 when nearly 134,974.8 went through the operation. There has been a five per cent increase in the number of imports at Fairview and nearly a 16.9 per cent decrease in exports. However, there has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of loaded TEUs being exported so far this year and a 53 per cent decrease in empty TEUs.

Outside of Fairview, nearly all other port operations saw improvements in March.

Habour Terminal saw a huge tonnage increase last month, with 45,186 tonnes going through the operation compared to 21,649 tonnes in March, 2013. There was also a 127 per cent upturn in the first quarter of 2014, with 124,423 tonnes going through Harbour Terminal so far this year compared to 54,711 in 2013.

Prince Rupert Grain saw the second largest increase year-over-year in March, with 500,079.8 tonnes moving through the operation last month, a five per cent increase over the 476,156 tonnes moved in March, 2013. But there was a nearly 3.5 per cent drop in the year-to-date total, with 1,357,357 tonnes being handled so far this year in contrast to 1,406,449 by this point in 2013.

There were significant declines at Ridley Terminals, with the coal export facility seeing a 53.25 per cent drop last month at 673,391 tonnes, compared to 1,440,334 tonnes in March 2013. In the first quarter of 2014 there has been 34.7 per cent less coal moving through the operation, with 2,042,545 tonnes so far this year in contracts to 3,126,761 in 2013.

In March, 28,145 tonnes were handled at Westview Terminal, which brings the year to date total to 81,277 tonnes.

Combined, port of Prince Rupert tonnage dropped 26 per cent this March, with 1,681,316 tonnes being moved through operations compared to 2,292,379 in March 2013. This is largely attributed to the decrease in tonnage at Ridley Terminal. So far this year there has been close to 17.6 per cent fewer tonnes handled compared to last year, with 4,908,513 tonnes being moved in 2013 and 5,952,250 tonnes being moved in 2014.