VANCOUVER — The Vancouver port saw record cargo numbers in 2018, driven by overseas demand for grain and potash and a thirst for consumer products in Canada.
The port authority says cargo volume grew to a record 147 million tonnes last year, up 3.5 per cent from 2017.
Robin Silvester, head of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, says West Coast container ports could be overloaded within five years, highlighting what he calls the need for a proposed new container terminal at the port, now undergoing review by a federally appointed panel.
Last year, strong global demand met a bumper crop in Canada to produce record cargo levels of canola and barley, according to the port authority.
It says potash exports ramped up nearly 28 per cent, hitting unprecedented volumes as the growing appetite for pork in China fuelled demand for the fertilizer.
Container volumes increased 4.4 per cent year over year in 2018, notching the equivalent of 3.4-million 20-foot containers, a new record. Auto sector volumes decreased one per cent to about 425,000 units.