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Sept.18, 2017

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INTERNATIONAL MARITIME IMPORTING | EXPORTING | PORTS | CARRIERS | BREAKBULK | GLOBAL LOGISTICS 22 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE SEPTEMBER 18.2017 By Mark Szakonyi CONTAINER VOLUME THROUGH Canada's four largest ports soared 8.5 percent year over year in the first half, outpacing global growth and spurring Maersk Line to take on additional trans-Atlantic capacity. Total Canadian volume rose more than 10 percent in the first six months compared to the first half of 2016. Strong demand for con- sumer goods drove import gains, and grains, lentils, and forest products sparked growth in exports, Jack Mahoney, president of Maersk Line Canada told The Journal of Commerce. Maersk's Canadian containerized trade rose 15 percent in the first half, while global con- tainer volume rose 6.7 percent, according to maritime analyst Alphaliner. "Canada is a trading country," Mahoney said. "There is very pro-trade mentality and an understanding of how contributes sub- stantially to GDP." GDP growth will more than double to 3 percent this year from the 1.47 percent in 2016, according to IHS Markit, parent company of The Journal of Commerce.Trade strength this year has prompted IHS Markit to upgrade its outlook for exports, which includes containerized trade, bulk, and breakbulk cargo, to 2.3 percent, compared to a 1 percent gain in 2016. It also improved its import outlook for 2017 to 2.8 percent, after imports shrank 0.9 percent in 2016. The growth prompted Maersk, the world's largest container line, to take slots on a Hapag-Lloyd service connecting Montreal to the Mediterranean ports of Algeciras, Cagilari, Fos sur Mer, Salerno, Genoa, Livorno, Tan-giers, Valencia, and Vigo, Mahoney said. In addition to the new offer- ing, which taps into the Toronto market, Maersk operates a trans-Atlantic service to North Europe, a trans-Pacific service from the ports of Prince Rupert and Vancouver, and another Asia service with Vancouver as the only Canadian port of call. The new slot offering, dubbed the Med- iterranean-Canada Express Service, gives the carrier and its customers capacity to capitalize on trans-Atlantic trade growth bolstered by the Canada-European Union trade pact. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which eliminates tariffs on 98 percent of trade between the two partners, is set to take effect later this month. Of the top four Canadian container ports, Halifax recorded the sharpest volume growth in the first half, as it did in 2016. Hal- ifax volume rocketed 16.7 percent from the same period last year, to about 274,650 TEU. Halifax, the third-fastest growing of North America's top 25 ports last year, has added two trans-Pacific services and a north-south service in the last 18 months. The Port of Prince Rupert experienced the second-fastest rate of growth, as traffic at the British Columbian gateway jumped 15.2 percent, to 422,866 TEU. The opening of a nearby transload facility this month will help fuel demand for the opening of the expanded terminal, also this month. DP World's Fairview Container Terminal will then have an annual capacity of 1.3 mil- lion TEU, up from its previous capacity of 850,000 TEU. Volume at the Port of Montreal, Canada's second-busiest port, rose 6.2 percent in the first half, to about 752,970 TEU. The port can take on the growth, thanks partly to the 2016 opening up Viau Container Ter - minal, designed to handle up to 450,000 TEU initially, while a possible expansion could increase annual capacity by another 150,000 TEU. Vancouver, the country's busiest port, set a midyear record with TEU traffic of nearly 1.6 million TEU, up 9.6 percent from the same period in 2016. To handle the growth, Vancouver is pursuing several expansion projects at existing facilities, and has a longer-term plan to build a new container terminal at Roberts Bank that will have a capacity of 2.4 million TEU, set for an esti- mated completion in the mid-2020s. JOC Contact Mark Szakonyi at and follow him on Twitter: @szakonyi_joc. CANADA'S GROWTH SPURT Volume surges at the country's top four container ports as strong economic growth spurs import and export gains

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