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Prince Rupert opens Phase Two

Prince Rupert, DP World and CN Rail hold a celebration to mark the opening of Phase II at the northern most container port on the North American west coast.
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With Phase II North the Fairview container terminal at Prince Rupert in British Colombia has expanded its footprint by 11 hectares and added an additional berth with three new “Malacca Max” cranes. The yard has 6,000ft of additional on dock rail, and its first RTG cranes, with six new ZPMC units. Prince Rupert is not draft constrained and with its new cranes is ready to receive 20,000 TEU vessels.

DP World holds a 55% stake in the Fairview Terminal, after selling a 45% share in the terminal and its facility in Vancouver to the Quebec pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) last year for $640M.

Maksim Mihic, General Manager of DP World Canada, said the expansion represents a forward-thinking commitment to providing shipping lines and cargo owners with fast, reliable container service that’s always ahead of customer demand. “Prince Rupert’s success has been driven by its unparalleled geographical position on the trans-Pacific trade route, its high terminal productivity, and its consistently low dwell times that have sustained despite our significant growth in throughput over the past two years,” said Mihic.

Fairview Terminal handled 736,663 TEU in 2016, getting close to its capacity of 850,000 TEU. Phase II increases total capacity to around 1.35M TEU, but more importantly gives the terminal a second berth, offering carriers much more flexibility. 

Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert, said the expansion is an important part of its future growth strategy. “We continue to build on our strengths, and ensure that as we grow as a Port we will maintain the velocity and fluidity that got us here,” said Krusel. “This project is a significant addition to Canada’s trade infrastructure, and provides tremendous value to our shippers and many partners. It has become a major contributor to the regional economy, and could not have been realized without collaboration and support of industry, labour, government, First Nations and our local communities.”

The local ILWU and the Lax Kw’alaam and Metlakatla First Nations have benefitted from the growth, and had leaders on hand to celebrate the opening of Phase II. 

Virtually all of the container traffic at Fairview arrives or leaves by rail, all of which is handled by CN as the only railroad serving the port. “The container terminal opened with weekly service from Cosco and a single train a week. Today, the world’s major steamship companies call on the port and with more than 15 trains a week from Rupert, it accounts for about 20% of CN’s intermodal business,” CN said in a statement.

CN added that it is “committed to selling 80% of the new capacity within three years”, which would add another 400,000 TEU to the current business. “As one of the fastest growing ports in North America, the Port of Prince Rupert holds a premier place on the global trade map. The last decade of supply chain collaboration between the port, terminal operators, CN and other partners has become the model for how to establish and grow a trade corridor,” said Luc Jobin, president and chief executive officer of CN.
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