Container traffic at the Port of Prince Rupert hit a monthly high in July, as traffic rose 5.5 percent year-over-year to 48,977 20-foot equivalent units.
The record-setting growth at the Fairview Container Terminal comes as Northwest Coast ports say the U.S. Harbor Maintenance Tax is diverting U.S-bound containers through Canadian terminals. The Federal Maritime Commission voted 3-2 last month to adopt a report suggesting Congress consider changes to the HMT, create a new fee for cross-border cargo and form a national transportation policy.
Containerized imports rose 6.4 percent in July from the same month in 2011, while export shipments expanded 4.4 percent, according to the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Total container traffic at Prince Rupert soared 62 percent year-over-year in the first seven months of the year.
Total tonnage through Prince Rupert in May rose 34.4 percent year-over-year to nearly 1.3 million metric tons. Strong coal and log loadings offset declines in shipments of canola and grain pellets. Total tonnage in the first seven months of the year is up 18.8 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
Prince Rupert’s growth helped boost Canadian National Railway’s intermodal volume up 13 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. CN Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel said coal, grain and intermodal growth was key to driving up the railroad’s volume 13 percent in 2011 and another 17 percent in the first half of this year, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.