Port of Vancouver, B.C. Sees Cargo Volume Gains, Losses in 2022

Image: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Despite a strong second half, the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia, saw a 3% dip in cargo volumes in 2022, port data show.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which oversees port operations, moved 141.4 million metric tons of goods in 2022, just short of the 146.5 MMT moved in 2021, according to data released in May.

Bottlenecks along the supply chain and a drought-impacted harvest from 2021 were factors in 2022, with overall bulk grain volumes down 23%. The port did see a 4% growth in the second half of last year, however, thanks to robust grain and fertilizer exports.

“Global demand for Canadian goods remained strong in 2022 as geo-political instability spurred appetite for our grain, energy and fertilizer exports,” Vancouver Fraser Port Authority President and CEO Robin Silvester said.

Like other ports, Vancouver also saw softer consumer demand after a heightened appetite for goods during the pandemic.

“A decline in container volumes that started around December is providing much-needed relief from the surge volumes the port experienced throughout 2021 and much of 2022,” Silvester said.

“However,” he continued, “the underlying story hasn’t changed, with the Port of Vancouver handling its second highest annual volume of containers on record in 2022. Additional container capacity at the Port of Vancouver remains desperately needed due to sustained, long-term growth in container trade as Canada’s population, economy and trade all continue to grow.”

By Karen Robes Meeks