Cargo crossed the docks at the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia, at a record pace last year, reaching nearly 72 million tons, according to statistics released by the Vancouver Port Corp.
That was a 5.7 percent increase over the 1994 total of 67.6 million tons and surpassed the previous record of 71.3 million tons set in 1988.Vancouver is Canada's largest port and North America's busiest bulk port. It directly employs over 10,300 people. It is mainly an export center, with 85 percent of its volume falling in that category. About 70 percent of the port's exports go to the Asia-Pacific region.
Despite a 15 percent drop last year in grain shipments through the port because of a decreased supply and a year-end cold-snap, bulk cargoes increased 5.8 percent to 59.7 million tons. Coal volumes jumped 15 percent to a record 26.5 million tons.
Sulfur, potash and mineral volumes also posted gains, said VPC.
Container traffic increased only marginally to the equivalent of 496,000 20-foot boxes, or 4.3 million tons, but that is close to the maximum that Vancouver's two container terminals, Vanterm and Centerm, can handle.
But with the recent addition of two new weekly container services - Hanjin Line and the Sea-Land Service Inc./Maersk Line alliance - ''we are expecting high container growth during 1996,'' said Norman Stark, VPC chief executive officer.
That will position the port well for the opening early next year of the Deltaport terminal on Roberts Bank, about 14 miles from downtown Vancouver, he said. Deltaport is a 92-acre, C$225 million container facility that will about double the port's container capacity.
General cargo, mainly forest products, increased over 7 percent last year, and the port held steady as a major cruise center with 597,000 paying cruise passengers and 283 sailings during the five-month Alaska season, both slight increases.