When I arrived in town in 2006, the opening of Fairview Terminal was still more than a year away, but the excitement for Prince Rupert’s entry into the global shipping community was thick in the air.
At least that was the case in Prince Rupert itself. The same could not be said, for the most part, when talking to “experts” in academia and industry.
It was largely thought that a small 500,000 TEU terminal in a small and remote North Coast community could not be competitive against such major centres as Vancouver, Seattle and Long Beach. Couple that with a largely unproven intermodal model that would see containers move from the ship onto trains before being moved across the border and global skepticism was almost equitable with local excitement.
After the announcement of another shipping line choosing to call on Prince Rupert, as outlined on the front page of last week’s Northern Connector, Fairview Terminal has proven to not only be competitive but appears to be top-of-mind for companies looking to get their goods from Asia into markets in North America.
If you have any doubt about the position our little terminal holds on the international stage, do a quick Google News search for Prince Rupert. What you will find is countless articles outlining the loss of traffic from ports in the United States to Fairview Terminal.
And, if reports prove to be true, the acquisition of Fairview Terminal by shipping giant DP World (which had yet to be confirmed by press time), that will only make Fairview even more top of mind.
After eight years of continued growth, the addition of another shipping line and the potential takeover by one of the largest terminal operators in the world, Prince Rupert isn’t just on the Asia-Pacific shipping map.
It’s quickly becoming the focal point of any discussions on the topic.