PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Prince Rupert Port Authority announced on Jan. 22 that a 26% surge in container volumes and the continued success of grain and wood pellet terminals at the Port of Prince Rupert helped stabilize overall 2015 results in the wake of declining coal volumes and international commodity markets.

“The 2015 cargo volumes achieved by our dedicated port workforce demonstrate the importance of cargo diversification, given the dramatic change in market conditions for Canadian trade,” said Don Krusel, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Port of Prince Rupert. “While down marginally from last year’s total volume, 2015 was historically the fourth best year on record, and signifies the port’s ability to weather commodity cycles and capitalize on opportunities for expansion and new development.”

Containerized trade through the Port of Prince Rupert was at an all-time high in 2015. Traffic through Fairview Container Terminal was up 26% over 2014 with 776,412 TEUs moved, solidifying its status as one of North America’s fastest-growing intermodal terminals. Last year also saw significant progress made on the Phase II North expansion project at the terminal, with the addition of 500,000 TEUs of capacity, on schedule for completion in 2017.

“Since the acquisition, by DP World, of Fairview Container Terminal, the productivity and efficiency generated by the terminal continues to be very strong,” said Maksim Mihic, general manager, DP World (Canada) Inc., “We’ve experienced great working relationships with our service partners CN and the Port of Prince Rupert, as well as the men and women of ILWU Locals 505 and 514 that keep things moving on the ground.”

Shipments of steel-making metallurgical coal through Ridley Terminals were down over 60% from 2014, resulting in a six-year low for bulk energy shipments through the port. This was offset by another strong year for prairie crops like wheat and canola through Prince Rupert Grain, contributing to the second-best year on record for agri-food exports with 6.4 million tonnes shipped. Westview Terminal continued to support the production and shipment of wood pellets from across northern British Colombia in 2015 with a 44% surge in volume. The biofuel export terminal also set a world record by loading the single largest shipment of wood pellets in June 2015.