Canada's West Coast port of Prince Rupert will add two new weekly trans-Pacific services in May, one by China Ocean Shipping Co. and the other by Hanjin Shipping. That will bring to four the number of weekly calls at Canada's newest container port.
Cosco is adding Prince Rupert to its South China Express service. Prince Rupert will be the last North American port call outbound before the vessels return to Asia.
Hanjin is adding Prince Rupert to its Pacific Northwest Express service. Prince Rupert will be the first call inbound from Busan, South Korea. The vessels will arrive on Saturdays and will then call in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, B.C., before returning to Busan.
This will be the first service at Prince Rupert involving Hanjin vessels, said port spokesman Maynard Angus. Hanjin has been a partner with Cosco in the existing services, but does not contribute vessels.
Angus said it is not immediately certain how much volume the two new services will bring to Prince Rupert. The port last year handled about 340,000 TEUs.
However, the new services will have an impact on the local economy as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada has put out a call to hire additional workers, Angus said.
Prince Rupert began container operations in October 2007. The port, located about 500 miles north of Vancouver, can handle 500,000 TEUs a year under its present configuration. Environmental studies are proceeding and the master plan calls for expansion projects that could eventually increase the annual capacity to 2 million TEUs.
Prince Rupert is a gateway for the U.S. as well as Canada, with about one third of its volume being Canadian cargo and two thirds U.S. cargo. The Canadian National Railway provides intermodal service from Prince Rupert to Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans.