Port of Vancouver

Port of Vancouver


The Port of Vancouver, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, has expanded its market share in the competitive Pacific Northwest region of North America, which also includes the Port of Prince Rupert in Canada, and the Northwest Seaport Alliance of Seattle and Tacoma, in the US state of Washington. 

Canada’s largest port, Vancouver’s share of the region’s containerized imports from Asia has increased steadily. For decades, Vancouver has played a major role in ongoing initiatives developed by Canada’s federal, provincial and regional authorities to create an Asia-Pacific Gateway that facilitates trade not just between British Columbia and East Asia, but between Canada as a whole and East Asia.

The Port of Vancouver’s Centerm terminal, operated by DP World Vancouver, provides an operating system that tracks containerized cargo in real time. 

Deltaport terminal, operated by GCT Canada, is Canada’s largest container terminal. 

Vanterm, also operated by GCT Canada, handles containerized cargo, project cargo, and bulk oils. Both Deltaport and Vanterm have on-dock rail facilities. Fraser Surrey Docks is a multi-purpose terminal handling containerized, bulk and breakbulk products.

The Port of Vancouver is handled by three Class 1 railroads: CN Rail, CP Rail and BNSF. Of these, only CN Rail and CP Rail service the on-dock rail facilities at the port’s container and cargo terminals.  

Like many other ports worldwide, Vancouver has suffered from congestion and high terminal utilization rates. In an effort to reduce such congestion, which slows down supply chains that operate between East Asia and Vancouver, Ashcroft Terminal, a 320-acre inland port, located 343 kilometers (212 miles) northeast of Vancouver, has been expanding its scale of operation.

Ashcroft Terminal provides inland transloading and container storage facilities in a spacious rural location that has direct access to major highways and railways leading to and from the port of Vancouver. Adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway, Ashcroft Terminal is situated on the mainlines of both the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and Canadian National Railway.

Ashcroft Terminal serves dozens of companies in the agricultural, forestry, mining, drilling and manufacturing sectors. In a sign of Ashcroft’s growing role in Asia-Canada trade, Singapore-based global terminal operator PSA International acquired a majority [60 percent] stake in Ashcroft in 2018, with an eye toward linking its transloading operations with potential markets in Asia and beyond.


12 Aug 2021
By transloading railed goods from ocean containers into domestic containers at Ashcroft inland port, Canadian Tire aims to take greater control of its import flows through the Port of Vancouver.
16 Jul 2021
Canadian National Railway services to Vancouver are sporadic as wildfires slow trains and imports pile up at Port of Vancouver docks. Three out of the four marine terminals are reporting container dwell times that are on average 10 days or more.
13 Jul 2021
Intermodal service through Vancouver dropped by nearly 20 percent after a wildfire forced Canada’s two Class 1 railroads to divert all freight service to one track.
07 Jul 2021
A fire that destroyed a British Columbia town is causing a backlog of intermodal and other rail freight at the Port of Vancouver that will result in delays of up to four days.
18 Jun 2021
The six busiest North American ports eked out gains in import market share during 2020 thanks to the surge in inbound container volumes at the biggest gateways.
29 Jan 2021
The British Columbia ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, as well as US East and Gulf Coast ports, will be looking to further increase their share of US imports from Asia in 2021.
09 Nov 2020
A short-sea sailing on Oct. 20 marked the first cabotage shipment on the Montreal-Toronto route since the early 1980s, while DP World plans to expand its short-sea network in the greater Vancouver area.
06 Oct 2020
How the dueling Vancouver port projects proceed is critical to how the largest Canadian gateway meets the demand for roughly 2 million TEU in capacity within approximately 10 years.
15 Sep 2020
A deal to build and operate a transload and distribution facility in Vancouver advances CP’s efforts to deepen its presence at its sole western Canadian port gateway, and Maersk’s evolution into a so-called global integrator by expanding its reach beyond port-to-port shipping.
22 Jul 2020
Pacific Northwest ports in the US and Canada are focusing on terminal expansion projects to prepare for what they hope will be a return to growth after the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
04 May 2020
The years-long market share bleed from North America’s traditional West Coast container gateways continued in 2019, with Savannah, Houston and Prince Rupert the main beneficiaries.
01 Apr 2020
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and its largest tenant, GCT Canada, agree that Vancouver risks a scenario in which marine terminals will be clogged within roughly 10 years, but they disagree on how to add capacity.
05 Mar 2020
The $300 million project allows GCT Deltaport to build longer trains faster and with less human accident risk, and boosts the Vancouver terminal’s annual capacity from 1.8 million TEU to 2.4 million.
25 Feb 2020
The Dubai-based operator’s acquisition of the Fraser Surrey Docks, which handled 350,000 TEU last year, was completed with partner Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a pension fund.
US West Coast ports competing through infrastructure, technology
30 Dec 2019
Seaports on the US West Coast aim to regain some of the market share they have lost over the past five years to the East and Gulf coasts by building infrastructure and implementing technology needed to move cargo cheaper and faster.
24 Dec 2019
The Pacific Northwest ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are moving forward with short-term marine terminal, rail, and roadway infrastructure projects, while on the East Coast, Halifax is extending a container terminal berth to handle larger ships and Montreal is increasing annual container handling capacity.
Top 50 Global Container Ports 2018
09 Aug 2019
Asian gateways continued to dominate the global port market in 2018, handling more than three-quarters of the total throughput of the top 50 container ports worldwide.
23 Jul 2019
The government of Canada commits $102 million to improve cargo velocity and terminal fluidity at the west coast ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
Canadian ports drive Pacific Northwest market share growth
18 Jul 2019
After strong cargo growth in 2018 due in part to diversions from Southern California, North America’s Pacific Northwest region is using a slower 2019 to implement process improvements and infrastructure developments needed to handle future growth.
US ports running smoothly ahead of expected ‘normal’ peak
05 Jul 2019
North America’s major gateways are operating efficiently as the eastbound trans-Pacific prepares for what is projected to be a “normal” peak season in August through October.
25 Jun 2019
British Columbia employers have ratified a contract that was approved Monday by ILWU Canada, likely ensuring labor peace in Vancouver and Prince Rupert for the next five years.
20 Jun 2019
A new Canada customs inspection facility close to the Port of Vancouver is expected to reduce truck congestion and expedite security inspections at Canada’s largest port.
US shippers increase routings via Canada West Coast ports
12 Jun 2019
The British Columbia ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are increasing their market share of US cargo because Canadian railroads are pricing intermodal more aggressively to the US Midwest than are US western railroads.
05 Jun 2019
The tentative contract agreement between ILWU Canada and BCMEA could open the door for future automation of terminals in Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
30 May 2019
The International Longshoremen’s Association is throwing its full support behind ILWU Canada in the latter’s attempt to block the spread of automation to Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
29 May 2019
Negotiations have resumed between the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and ILWU Canada, but dockworkers at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert could still be locked out at 8 am Thursday morning.
28 May 2019
Waterfront employers have informed ILWU Canada they will be locked out of the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert at 8 a.m. Thursday if contract negotiations remain at a stalemate.
17 May 2019
Trucking companies, government agencies, and unions in Vancouver responding to commissioner’s plan for wage hike and rule changes with goal of meeting July 1 implementation deadline and heading off possible labor action.
13 May 2019
The acquisition of two Canadian ports by global terminal operators offers them the chance to apply the resources and relationships built up around the world in service of boosting their cargo volumes in Canada.
10 May 2019
ILWU Canada voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if necessary, but the union and employers have agreed to continuing bargaining until at least the end of May in contract negotiations that have been under way since February 2018.
10 May 2019
Terminal operator GCT Global's $160 million investment in the Vanterm facility is part of a larger effort to keep up with growing demand at the port of Vancouver, which officials expect to reach full utilization within 10 years.
09 May 2019
The purchase of Fraser Surrey Docks will increase the Dubai-based terminal operator's footprint on the Pacific coast of Canada, although the river port has limited potential for container cargo growth.
07 May 2019
Longshore workers in Canada are turning up the heat on the employers’ association in Vancouver as negotiations that began in February 2018 still have not replaced the contract that expired more than a year ago.
08 Apr 2019
With container volumes increasing and capacity running short, Canada's largest port has rejected a proposal to expand GCT Canada’s Deltaport terminal in favor of a new facility it hopes will attract a third operator to the port.
Mark Szakonyi, executive editor
30 Mar 2019
Mark Szakonyi, executive editor
14 Feb 2019
The development project is designed to meet growing cargo demand as the port expands its share of intermodal traffic destined for eastern Canada and the US Midwest.