Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vancouver Port Container Traffic Down 40%

Reading the Surrey Leader today... Some concerning news for Lower Mainland Trucking and container handling:

"Slowing international trade due to the global recession is translating into fewer cargo ships calling on Vancouver-area harbours and more port workers and truckers being sidelined.

Port Metro Vancouver reported a 22 per cent drop in the number of containers it handled in February compared to a year ago.

And shipments of other types of bulk cargo are down 44 per cent so far in the first two months of the year.

"The number of vessels is down," said Port Metro Vancouver Chief Operating Officer Chris Badger.

"Clearly if the consumer is not buying, the demand drops," he said, adding that's playing out in reduced imports of containerized goods from Asia.

There's also been less demand for Canada's outgoing commodities.

The biggest declines so far in 2008 are exports of logs – down 62 per cent – and bulk potash, off 80 per cent.

Grain and food exports through the port are bucking the downward trend so far, up 18 per cent in the first two months of the year.

"People still need to eat," Badger said.

The port authority is projecting the decline will moderate later in the year, ending 2009 down about four per cent in general cargo and seven per cent for containers compared to 2008."

I sure hope the Olympics bring the crush of business that's expected... Looking forward to lots of "boomers" retiring in the Lower Mainland, as well... Something's got to keep this area of 3 Million-plus growing...

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