The number of container being handled at Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal is down for the second month in a row.
In April the terminal handled 43,717 TEUs compared to 45,894 last April, a drop of five per cent. After dropping 43 per cent this March compared to last, imports in April fell 13 per cent, from 27,610 TEUs to 24,074 TEUs, for the second straight month of double-digit import declines. Exports, however, were up slightly from 18,284 TEUs to 19,643 TEUs, an increase of seven per cent.
“This variance can be largely attributed to seasonal fluctuations in vessel scheduling and shipments related to the Chinese New Year,” read a statement from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
“When gauging the growth of our operations, we make assessments based on quarterly or annual performance. From that perspective, 2013 has been a strong year so far, and we are confident that annual aggregate figures will reflect significant growth overall in 2013.”
So far this year Fairview Terminal remains slightly ahead of 2012 tonnage through four months. The total number of TEUs is up three per cent, sitting at 178,692, imports are down slightly and exports are up seven per cent, from 75,799 TEUs to 81,035 TEUs.
After a strong start to the year, Ridley Terminals tonnage dropped 46 per cent year-over-year in April, handling 624,175 tonnes this year compared to 1.16 million tonnes last April. The biggest difference is the lack of any petroleum coke being handled in April and a 68 per cent drop in thermal coal.
“The main thing that happened was the markets were down and we experienced some ship deferrals as we were waiting for product,” explained RTI corporate affairs manager Michelle Bryant.
“It was not a good month for the market. We’re expecting a strong rebound in May.”
However, RTI remains up 21 per cent over last year’s record breaking numbers, having handled 3.75 million tonnes compared to 3.11 million tonnes.
Prince Rupert Grain had a strong month, handling 584,719 tonnes this April compared to 463,840 tonnes last April. So far this year the terminal is up 14 per cent, moving 1.99 million tonnes of product. Log exports were down 21 per cent this April, but up 21 per cent so far in 2013.
Overall tonnage through the Port of Prince Rupert was down 21 per cent this April, dropping from 2.12 million tonnes last April to 1.67 million tonnes this April. The port is still on track for another record-breaking year, up from 6.66 million tonnes to 7.61 million tonnes, an increase of 14 per cent.
Passenger traffic through Prince Rupert remains steady. So far this year passenger traffic on BC Ferries is up two per cent while passenger traffic on the Alaska Marine Highway is down two per cent.