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January 6 2020

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46 The Journal of Commerce | Januar y 6 2020 2020 Maritime ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK PORTS IN CANADA are working on a slew of terminal expansions and upgrades to handle projected steady future growth in cargo volumes. The Port of Halifax is moving to ensure it can handle mega-vessels with a berth expansion expected to come online in the first quarter of 2020, while the Port of Montreal is preparing for larger cargo volumes and the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are focused on capital- izing on their strategic advantages in serving the North American market, especially the American Midwest. In Halifax, the berth extension at the South End Container Terminal, also known as PSA Halifax, will enable it to handle two vessels of 14,000 TEU to 15,000 TEU at once. The port is pushing to complete the project by 2020, when port officials believe ocean carriers will be making decisions on where to send big ships over the next five years. The Port of Montreal will start an expansion of the Viau container terminal, one of four at the port, that will nearly double its capacity from 350,000 TEU to 600,000 TEU. The port also could begin work on a fifth terminal in 2020. On the West Coast, the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert will move forward with short-term ma- rine terminal, rail, and roadway in- frastructure projects that will meet capacity needs at Canada's West Coast gateway well into the latter half of the decade, when long-term terminal projects will boost annual capacity by 4 million TEU. Cargo volumes through Canada's four largest ports — Montreal, Hal- ifax, Vancouver, and Prince Rupert — grew 4 percent to 4.5 million TEU in the first nine months of 2019, according to port authority figures. That was a slight deceleration from the 5 percent year-over-year growth seen in all of 2018, according to the figures, which count loaded TEU for Montreal, Vancouver, and Prince Ru- pert, and both loaded and unloaded TEU for Halifax. West Coast collaboration Although Vancouver and Prince Rupert are two independent port authorities separated by 500 miles of coastline, they are synchronizing their development plans to ensure that the region has sufficient capacity for the coming decade, said Cliff Stewart, vice president of infrastructure at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Vancouver's volume in the first 10 months of 2019 increased 1.8 percent year over year to 2.16 million TEU, with a decline in imports offset by increasing exports, port figures show. Prince Rupert, meanwhile, saw con- tainer volume through October jump 15 percent to 646,638 TEU, with imports and exports both growing by double-digit percentages. Vancouver and Prince Rupert intend to capitalize on their strategic advantages, such as rapid ocean tran- sit times from Asia and intermodal rail rates that are $400 to $600 cheaper to Chicago than through Seattle and Tacoma, according to a study last year by the Northwest Seaport Alliance. To do so, Vancouver and Prince Rupert must continue to expand their physical infrastructure. The combined ports are operating at 80 to 85 percent utilization, which is bumping up against the maximum In sync Canadian ports preparing for future strong cargo growth By Bill Mongelluzzo and Hugh Morley Port of Vancouver (shown here) handled 2.16 million TEU through October, a 1.8 percent year- over-year gain. EB Adventure Photography / +4.3% +4.9% +4.1% +3.4% -2.2% +10.5% +6% +4.4% +0.5% +8.1% +5.2% +4% 0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 3,000,000 3,500,000 4,000,000 4,500,000 5,000,000 Jan.- Sept. 2015 Jan.- Sept. 2016 Jan.- Sept. 2017 Jan.- Sept. 2018 Jan.- Sept. 2019 Export Import Total Cargo growth through Canadian ports slows in 2019 Source: Port Authorities © 2019 IHS Markit Laden import and export TEU volume at the ports of Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax, and Prince Rupert with year-over-year change

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