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HANSA 03-2018

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Häfen | Ports Vancouver

Häfen | Ports Vancouver has grown rapdily in the last five years Photo: Port of Vancouver Growth prospects under the maple leaf Many Canadian ports prepare for growth. The »new« policy further south beyond the U.S. border causes worries and a glimmer of hope at the same time. Canadian Ports are not merely eying their southern neighbours but are fully aware of the prospects beyond the oceans to the East and West. By Michael Meyer Speaking to HANSA, Wendy Zatylny, President of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA), explains: »Although it is difficult to say with certainty what prospects are, given growing nationalism and protectionism, currently prospects for Europe and Asia are positive and balance the uncertainty in trade with the U.S.« Trade with Asia, due to demand for agricultural products and natural resources, combined with trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement with the EU, the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement and the recently signed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), should provide the basis for growth in trade, Zatylny thinks. »We do expect CETA to increase transatlantic trade between Canada and the EU.« Canadian ports are developing facilities to meet anticipated demand. Trade with the U.S. has always been very strong – in fact the strongest trading relationship in the world – thanks in large part to the 30-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, »this trade relationship is uncertain due to the current renegotiation of NAF- TA and the protectionist polices of the current U.S. regime.« U.S. trade policy and domestic environmental regulations are making Canadian ports a very attractive option for trade with North America, she explains. In fact, Canadian ports may benefit from the uncertain climate in the US and the lowering of environmental and labour rules and regulations which could fall below required global standards for marine and environmental regulations. In addition, in the eye of the association, the proximity of western ports to Asia combined with rail and truck linkages will also make these hubs competitive compared to US ports. However, a potential challenge to Canada is that of a »thickening« of the border with the U.S., hence slowing down trade fluidity. Zatylny hopes that earlier joint Canada/U.S. »Beyond the Border« initiatives have been institutionalized and will prevent border friction. Commenting on global seaway developments, ACPA says, the expanded Panama Canal is having a positive impact on east coast port business. Specifically, Halifax may enjoy increased north-south trade through Panama. The other factor to consider is the widening of the Suez Canal which may also lead to increased traffic to Halifax/Montreal. Nevertheless, Zatylny sees a number of challenges that ports face: »They have significant deferred maintenance needs as well as demand for capital to innovate and expand and current funding from the Federal Government is oversubscribed and not targeted to ports specifically.« The country’s most dominant port, Vancouver, responds to future tasks involving the following projects: The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2): This is a proposed new three-ship container terminal. The project would provide 2.4 mill. TEU of capacity and is needed to meet forecasted demand. The proposed Centerm Expansion Project is part of the port authority’s longterm strategy. The proposed expansion looks to increase the capacity by approximately two-thirds. The Deltaport Termi- 82 HANSA International Maritime Journal – 155. Jahrgang – 2018 – Nr. 3

Häfen | Ports nal, Road and Rail Improvement includes a series of improvements to increase efficiency and capacity. According to the port authority, Vancouver is strategically located as a major Asia-Pacific gateway and connected to key markets in North America through three Class I railways CN, CP and BNSF. A spokesperson tells HANSA, Vancouver has grown by roughly 30 mill. t in the last five years. »We expect this to happen again in the next five years or so.« In the first six months of 2017 alone, overall cargo throughput increased by 4% to 69 mill. t with mid-year records in bulk grain and containers. Container quantities increased by 9.6% to a record 1.6 mill. TEUs. Strong overseas demand for Canadian grain products resulted in a steep increase in wheat, canola and specialty crop exports, which include pulses and lentils (up 55%). Bulk cargoes are of high importance for the port. In 2016 alone, these made up 69% of total port cargo. The spokesperson adds that these volumes are expected to grow at a faster rate than total cargo at the port. She adds, »Land is constrained here in the Lower Mainland and we are doing what we can to make current port operations as efficient as possible and advocate for the preservation of industrial land.« In Halifax on the East Coast, containerized cargo growth continues. In 2017 the volume was 559,242 TEUs, up 16% and up 34% compared to 2016 and 2015 respectively, according to the port authority. It is the highest volume for a single year. Total cargo tonnage through HPA facilities was 5.01 mill. t, up 12%. Spokesman Lane Ferguson tells HANSA, that the port will continue to focus on velocity, specifically working to improve upon dwell and truck processing times, and moving vessels on and off the berth without delay. Also on the agenda are technology improvements as the port prepares for block chain applications and working with partners on further development of feeder hub services for the New England states. According to Ferguson, »Halifax is able to berth and service vessels up to 16,000 TEUs. The South End Container Terminal has unobstructed ocean access, 16 m depth, 660 m continuous berth, 2,400 m double-stack on-dock rail and super post-Panamax cranes.« The port authority is looking at ways to expand or develop the necessary pier length required to berth and service two vessels over 10,000 TEUs/400 m length overall simultaneously. The port of Montreal also saw a record year with growth in all sectors and a record tonnage of 28 mill. t. As in past years, the container sector was the growth engine, with one in four containers connected to Asia. Overall, container throughput went up 6%. While the growth is still attributable to the Asian market, which is up 17.8%, the African market rose by 10.3% and the Mediterranean by 9.2%. Aspects leading to growth are infrastructure projects like: The new Viau container terminal completed its first year of operation in 2017. The project will bring the total handling capacity in the Viau sector to 600,000 TEUs. The port authority is pursuing the project of a container terminal in Contrecoeur. When completed, the port capacity would grow by 1,14 mill. TEUs to 2.1 mill. TEUs. The port authority is heavily working on obtaining the permits to realize this project. The growth perspective is expected to continue in 2018, given that CETA came into effect on a preliminary basis in September 2017 and the rebound of the American economy is expected to continue at a moderate pace. In fact, although the Panama Canal expansion could favour the port’s container sector, the main growth engine will still come from transhipment with emerging markets through the Suez Canal, the spokesperson thinks. At the same time she is seeing a lot more cargo coming from Asia. Given that renegotiations of the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are still underway, the port did not want to comment on this. »The U.S. Midwest has always been a big market for Montreal, mainly thanks to our proximity to Europe and our location 1,600 km inland. But since this portion involves international trade, it is not affected by NAF- TA,« it is explained. M The St. Lawrence Seaway is an important factor both for the Canadian and the U.S. port industry Photo: USCG HANSA International Maritime Journal – 155. Jahrgang – 2018 – Nr. 3 83

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