On June 6 the Prince Rupert Port Authority released its traffic statistics for May 2011, and the numbers show year-over-year growth in almost every facet of port operations.
In May Fairview Terminal handled 29,480.5 TEUs, up 20 per cent from the 24,558.8 handled last May. The number of loaded TEUS was up 30.8 per cent to 24,437.5 while the number of empty TEUs was down 14.1 per cent to 5,043. While the number of loaded TEUs being imported was up 10.3 per cent, from 15,841.3 to 17,466, by far the biggest year-over-year growth was the number of loaded containers being exported which more than doubled from 2,844 in May of 2010 to 6,971.5 last month.
Year to date numbers for Fairview remain slightly below 2010, however. So far in 2011 there were 117,405.8 TEUs handled at the terminal compared to 128,030 in 2010, a drop of 8.3 per cent. But that drop can be attributed once again to the number of empty containers being handled, which are down 52.5 per cent compared to the 8.1 per cent increase in the number of loaded containers. As with the May numbers, growth is most significant in the number of loaded containers being exported, which have jumped by 76.1 per cent from 18,931 TEUs to 33,343.5 TEUs.
“For years before the container terminal opened up we talked about the opportunities for export and the market access it would provide and now we’re starting to see that become reality and the economic opportunities that come with that,” said Shaun Stevenson, Vice-president of Marketing and Business Development with the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
“I think that growth is a combination of a strong market for BC exports and the development of the capability for those exports to be handled through Prince Rupert.”
Ridley Terminals traffic this may grew significantly from last May, jumping from 554,874 tonnes to 958,964 tonnes, a difference of 72.8 per cent. Year to date the terminal is up 15.4 per cent compared to 201, climbing from 3.25 million tonnes to 4.01 million tonnes. The number of logs being handed in the harbour increased 71.2 per cent year-over-year, up to 52,012 tonnes from 30,386.7 tonnes, and year to date the number of logs handled in the harbour has more than doubled from 100,963.5 tonnes to 220,568 tonnes. While Prince Rupert Grain’s numbers for May were down 3.8 per cent, the company is still ahead of last year’s numbers. To date in 2011 PRG has handled 2.23 million tonnes compared to 1.99 million tones, a difference of 12.2 per cent.
Overall, the tonnage handled by the Prince Rupert Port Authority in May was up 33.3 per cent, from 1.37 million tonnes to 1.82 million tonnes. The port also remains on track for another record year, with total tonnage up 15.4 per cent in the first five months of 2011.
“We’re optimistic that we’re going to see another record year, and certainly that reflects the relevance of Prince Rupert,” said Stevenson.
“We are ideally situated to meet the needs of the growing Asian markets.”
Of note as well is that the number of cruise passengers disembarking in Prince Rupert in May was up from 6,785 to 7,311 – a difference of 7.8 per cent.