Canada's Port of Vancouver is struggling with container capacity problems and raising costs to shippers amid rising Asian trade.
Operating capacity of the two terminals which handle the bulk of the traffic at Vancouver's three container terminals "has either been reached, as in the case of Vanterm, or has been exceeded, as in the case of Deltaport," operator TSI Terminal Systems said recently.
Terminal Systems in a notice to customers has said volumes at Deltaport and Vanterm increased 28 percent in the first quarter of this year from the same period a year ago, on continuing increases in Asian imports to Canada.
Starting July 1, demurrage for import and export containers would rise from C$24.60 per TEU per day to C$100. For inbound general and refrigerated cargo, free time will be three working days following complete unloading of the vessel, from five days at present. Outbound cargo still gets five working days.
Starting July 4, truck gate hours would be further extended "as demand requires for local import containers."
Capacity issues are not as severe at Centerm, operated by P&O Ports Canada, a subsidiary of DP World of Dubai, said Chief Executive Darcy Clarkson. A C$155 million (US$139 million) upgrade and expansion will be completed by the end of July, more than doubling capacity to almost 800,000 TEUs.
Fraser River Port, the area's fourth container-handling port, is struggling to replace nearly 70 percent of its container business lost to TSI since last December when CP Ships was taken over by Hapag-Lloyd, which calls at TSI's Vancouver terminals.
Centerm's Clarkson said "our main customer, the New World Alliance is not pushing us [with traffic] as far as TSI's customers are pushing them."
Alliance members MOL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, and APL provide Centerm with about 200,000 container moves each year.
Clarkson said Centerm likely will take on a new customer when expansion is completed, and at that time could review its demurrage charges of C$25 per day per TEU for the first five days, $50 a day for the next five, and $100 a day thereafter, as well as its free time.
William Wehnert, vice-president of terminal operator Fraser Surrey Docks, at Fraser River Port, said CP Ships' business moved to TSI when Hapag-Lloyd renamed the vessels and shifted them to TSI Terminals to join other ships of the Grand Alliance. It was working on a business replacement plan, he said.