Canadian Port of Vancouver has seen a decrease in traffic during the first half of 2016 mostly attributed to a softened global economy, the weakened Canadian dollar, and some containerized cargo shifting back to United States ports following an extended labour disruption on the U.S. west coast last year.
Total cargo for the half-year period ending June 30, 2016 was 66 million metric tonnes, an overall decrease of 5.9 per cent over the same period in 2015. These results represent a softening of volumes in all major commodities except grain, where increases in barley and canola contributed to overall growth in that sector.
In the bulk sector, more grain is being exported overseas to new markets resulting in an increase of 4.8 per cent over record 2015 volumes.
In the container sector, volumes weakened in the first half of 2016 compared to last year, when the port experienced a temporary surge of cargo in 2015 as shippers chose to move freight through Canada due to labour disruptions at U.S. west coast ports.
Between January and June 2016, 1.4 million TEUs was moved through the Port of Vancouver, representing a decrease of 6.5 per cent from the same period in the record-breaking 2015 year.
“The slight decrease in cargo volumes in the first half of 2016 is expected, given the record year we experienced in 2015 and the softening global economy,” said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
“The long-term outlook for Canadian trade is one of growth, and the port will be ready to handle increased volumes through Canada’s west coast.”