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October 27, 2017 5:33 pm

New Cranes to Boost Capabilities of Prince Rupert Container Terminal

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Photo courtesy Prince Rupert Port Authority

Prince Rupert, B.C. – An milestone was reached in the continuing expansion of Prince Rupert’s Fairview Container Terminal over the weekend.

On Saturday, a team of BC Coast Marine Pilots guided the heavy load carrier Ship Zhen Hua 25 and three gantry cranes into Prince Rupert Harbour.

Michael Gurney, corporate communications manager at the Prince Rupert Port Authority, says the offloading process is expected to take another week noting “it will further enhance Prince Rupert ‘s reputation as big ship ready.”

He adds the cranes are equipped with a horizontal reach of 25 containers and can work with the largest ships in the world.

“What this means is that first of all the Port of Prince Rupert can handle the biggest container ships in the industry. There’s now no limitation to the size of the container ships that can come along side Fairview Terminals,” says Gurney.

“At the same time, once this expansion is complete, we’ll be able to serve two container vessels simultaneously. Of course there will be a corresponding increase in efficiency as part of the expansion of the terminal itself has been storage space for the containers which allows us to process them more efficiently as they move from rail to ship.”

He says that means more jobs (possibly 100 or more new longshoreman positions), more attractive options for shippers and carriers and more efficiency at the terminal.

Once expansion is complete sometime between August and October (mainly surfacing of the terminal and a lot of utility work like hooking up all the connections that make the systems work), he sayss the capacity of Fairview Terminal will increase by half-a-million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), boosting its total capacity from 850,000 to 1.35 million TEUs.


This will boost the port capacity but what effect will it have on the rail lines and highways servicing Prince Rupert? Doubling the number of trains going through many of the towns along the way is going to impact them.

i wonder if these massive container ships are wind powered? just imagine how much fuel they have in order to sail around the world.
whats the difference between these running aground and the oil ships that are stopped coming into rupert or kitimat?

    the size and potential impact if a spill occurred.

Maybe getting ready for the LNG that’s not gonna happen.. Certainly not preparing it for coal, for crusty is going to end that

Maybe its to unload all the refugees coming in the containers

The container terminal has never made any secret of their wish to expand and aspires to become the second largest container port on the west coast after Los Angeles and I for one am happy to see the expansion as that means more jobs, money and infrastructure will be on the horizon. Sadly though too many people choose to focus on the negative rather than positive and yet never seem to offer positive workable solutions to increased traffic and positive aspects of the increase

Totally right Dearth, this is a good positive start and the port needs to show that they are ready for whatever comes their way. Of course you have the whiners and people blaming Christy for it and nobody else, but in the meantime it helps out Prince Rupert and their little economy to a certain degree. This is good news, plain and simple!

    Yes and just think how many more jobs we could have if we did not sell off BC Rail.

These gantry cranes will increase the loading/unloading capacity of Fairviw terminal by 500,000 TEU’S. So they would be able to unload 1.35 million teu’s per year. On the surface this looks like a big number, but not so much when you break it down.

1. Terminals use the term TEU’S *Twenty foot equivalent units* when talking about containers, however in actual fact the majority of containers through the port of Prince Rupert are FEU’S *Forty foot equivalent units*.

So. 1.35 Million 20ft teu’s divided by 2 gives us 675000 40ft teu’s.

675000 divided by 365 days per year gives us 1849 40ft containers per day.

Average number of containers on a 150 car container train would be 300. So 1849 divided by 300 gives us 6 trains per day Ie; 3 trains in each direction. At present we have roughly 1.5 trains in each direction through Prince George.

Three trains in each direction through Prince George is not a significant number, however it is certainly better than what we do not.

The real problem is, is that the number of containers through Prince Rupert could in fact decrease, mainly because of the competition from the Panama Canal Expansion, and from aggressive competition from West Coast Ports.

In any event containers through Prince Rupert decreased by 5% in 2016 over 2015.

The Port of Vancouver handles 3 times the amount of containers that Rupert does, and of course L.A. handles about 7 times more. These ports are not going to let their business go without a fight.

    There is another math lesson to consider and that is the amount of time it takes to sail between Asia and the west coast where the majority of products will be moving. On average Rupert is a day less sailing time to Tokyo, Seoul or Shanghai than Vancouver is and it’s 2 days less sailing time than is LA. In the grand scheme of container shipping time is big money.

      Not to mention the fees to berth,harbour anchorage fees, time spent waiting at anchorage for a berth, fuel and crew wages. End result is huge cost savings over the lower mainland which makes PR much more attractive to the shipping companies

      Last couple of times I’ve flown into YVR I’ve counted around 17 ships moored in English Bay waiting their turn to load or unload and a few more moored in the inner harbor.

Much more demand in LA or Vancouver for freight so why would you ship to P Rupert if the items needed in LA or Vancouver?

    Demand for incoming goods is continent wide. For a significant portion of goods Vancouver and LA are just stopovers on the way to places like Chicago and other points in the US mid-west.

      With the population that LA and Vancouver have they will be using more of these goods than P Rupert before they are shipped out.

    Vancouver and LA are just stop over ports the containers are offloaded and then sent to warehouses, trains, airport and trucks to be sent all over the continent. Prince Rupert is a viable alternative as everything is cheaper there than the other ports plus Prince Rupert has the deepest natural harbour in North America meaning no need to dredge yearly or worry about ships grounding themselves

What people do not realize is that the container ships that unload in Prince Rupert are only partially unloaded. These ships contain say 8000 containers. They unload approx 800 in Prince Rupert and then unload the rest in Vancouver, or US Ports.

So while you save time coming through Prince Rupert and going East, you lose time on the balance of the containers going to Vancr/US Ports.

At this point in time Prince Rupert does not have the capacity to unload a full container ship 3 or 4 times a week. In fact if they tried traffic would be tied up for weeks.

So keep things in perspective. Prince Rupert is a good alternative to other Ports and is primarily used by COSCO, and MARSK lines. The other container companies do not use Prince Rupert.

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