A recently completed terminal expansion project at Canada's Port of Vancouver is set to boost capacity amid projected cargo volume growth at the Canadian West Coast seaport.
The Construction on the Centerm Expansion Project—delivered by the the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in partnership with terminal operator DP World—allows Centerm to handle 60% more containers by increasing the terminal footprint by 15%. Work completed includes expanding the terminal footprint to the west and east, reconfiguring and expanding the container yard, building state-of-art truck gates, expanding the intermodal yard, building a new operations facility, and marine habitat improvements.
While construction of the terminal improvements is complete, work is ongoing to optimize operations to deliver the full capacity increase at Centerm. The full capacity gains are expected to be realized later this year, increasing the terminal’s container handling capacity by two-thirds from 900,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) to 1.5 million TEUs.
Canada’s west coast marine container terminals are forecast to hit capacity by the mid- to late-2020s, following a decade of 5% average annual growth from 2011 to 2021.
“Trade through the Port of Vancouver is growing and we’re working to ensure infrastructure projects are designed and delivered in a way that protects the environment and benefits local communities while enhancing the safe movement of cargo through the region,” said Cliff Stewart, vice president of infrastructure at the port authority, the federal agency mandated to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver.
On the Centerm Expansion Project, this includes environmental protections such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating wait times for vehicles at train crossings, adding capacity for container ships to connect to electrical shore power, upgrading some yard cranes from diesel to electric, and building to LEED and Envision certification sustainability standards.
In 2022, the project was awarded the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Envision Platinum award, their highest rated award. The project also improved local habitat through offsetting projects such as the award-winning Maplewood Marine Restoration Project, which restored approximately five hectares of low-value marine habitat into higher-value intertidal flat, eelgrass and rock reef habitat.