Present container terminal capacity is sufficient for CANADIAN cargo

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Besides the numerous environmental problems highlighted by other commentators it needs to be pointed out that the economic benefits are overstated by the Vancouver Port Authority. The project documents show a timeline where the Canadian Westcoast will run out of container capacity unless Roberts Bank 2 is built. This is a distorted picture for two reasons:

1) A large part of Vancouver's import traffic and an even larger portion of Prince Rupert's import traffic is destined for customers in the United States. If Canadian freight would be prioritized (and US transit cargo only accepted after our domestic needs are met) then out transport needs could be met for many more years without disruptive new greenfield developments. The additional capacity would be beneficial to the shareholders of CN and CP because they could expand their market share in the United States but it does nothing for the rest of Canada that would justify the negative enviromental impact.

2) There is plenty of unused container capacity in Halifax NS, Saint John NB and soon also in Montreal. Since most of the cargo from East Asia is ultimately destined for Ontario, Quebec and the US Midwest the traffic growth can also be routed via these ports. Yes, the distance between Vancouver and China is shorter than from the East Coast however the pandemic has shown that importers have learned to live with longer transit times and supply chains are switching more and more from China to South East Asia and India, which can be served faster via the Suez Canal and Halifax. 

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Date Submitted
2022-04-26 - 11:16 PM
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