The Port of Prince Rupert’s run of record-breaking years came to an end in 2014.
All told, cargo through terminals located on Prince Rupert Port Authority land fell by 10.33 per cent last year, dropping from a record of just shy of 23 million tonnes in 2013 to 20.6 million tonnes at the end of December.
The largest year-to-year decline came from Ridley Terminals Inc. Which, amid a drop in energy prices, saw its overall tonnage drop from a record of 12 million tonnes last year to just over 7.1 million tonnes this year – a drop of 41.09 per cent. Thermal coal movement through the terminal was down 46.25 per cent, metallurgical coal was down 42.9 per cent and petroleum coke was down 21.85 per cent. In December alone RTI saw its tonnage drop 70 per cent, from more than one million tonnes last December to just 322,494 tonnes last month.
Also experiencing declining cargo volumes this year was shipments from the harbour, led largely by the movement of raw logs. This year cargo through the harbour dropped 15.46 per cent, from 417,527 tonnes in 2013 to 352,966 tonnes in 2014. Like RTI, year-to-year shipments in December dropped drastically from 35,706 tonnes last December to just 3,653 tonnes last month, a drop of 89.77 per cent.
While those two terminals saw declining volumes, both Fairview Terminal and Prince Rupert Grain saw year-over-year increases in cargo.
This year Fairview Terminal handled 618,167 TEUs compared to 536,439 last year, an increase of 15.24 per cent, with imports climbing 18.47 per cent from 303,840 TEUs to 359,959.5 TEUs and exports climbing 11.01 per cent from 232,599.25 TEUs to 258,207.5 TEUs. Of those exports, 156,998 TEUs were loaded compared to 151,624 TEUs last year, an increase of 3.54 per cent. In December, tonnage through Fairview Terminal increased 50.6 per cent compared to last December, jumping from 38,993 TEUs to 60,232 TEUs, with imports up 61.86 per cent and exports up 35.67 per cent.
Prince Rupert Grain’s year-end total rose from 5.1 million tonnes last year to 6.5 million tonnes this year, a difference of 25.69 per cent, driven by an increase in wheat and canola shipments. December saw shipments through Prince Rupert Grain increase from 371,980 tonnes to 412,336 tonnes, a difference of 10.85 per cent.
In its first full year of operation, Westview Terminal shipped 511,741.51 tonnes of wood pellets, including 45,197.98 tonnes last month.
Overall tonnage through the Port of Prince Rupert in December was down 26.32 per cent compared to 2013, falling from 1.9 million tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes.