As overall tonnage through the Port of Vancouver staged a dramatic comeback during the first six months of 2004, Port Authority CEO Captain Gordon Houston said additional investments would be needed from provincial and federal governments and from the railroads to meet growing demand. Total tonnage surged 16% to 36.5 million tonnes during the period. The Port of Vancouver also reached a new mid-year record in the shipment of containers, continuing a streak of nearly 15 consecutive years of growth in the sector.
"The impressive growth the Port of Vancouver is experiencing underscores the urgent need to work together and plan for critical investments in our transportation gateway," said Captain Houston. "It's our job to make sure that the goods shipped in and out of the Port of Vancouver move to market quickly, efficiently and reliably. Without investments in transportation infrastructure, our collective competitiveness as a gateway is compromised," he continued.
Total container shipments increased 7% from 756,879 TEUs to a new record 809,456 TEUs. Full containerized import volumes also grew 7%t to 373,115 TEUs, while full containerized export volumes grew 16% to 350,686 TEUs.
Grain shipments jumped 81%t to 4.1 million tonnes, with wheat rising 133% to 2.5 million tonnes and canola increasing 17% to 1.2 million tonnes. In other commodities, potash increased 23% to 3.1 million tonnes. Total dry bulk shipments increased 18% to 24.4 million tonnes. Coal, the Port of Vancouver's single largest commodity, rose 6% to 12.3 million tonnes.
The Port of Vancouver trades $29 billion in goods with more than 90 trading economies each year. Port activities generate 62,000 jobs in total with $1.6 billion in Gross Domestic Product and $3.5 billion in economic output. Last year, 66.7 million tonnes were shipped through the Port of Vancouver.