A recent Port of Vancouver newsletter, included the following, very misleading, message:
“We are hopeful that a decision on the project [Robert Bank Terminal 2] will be made as quickly as possible. If Roberts Bank Terminal 2 is not built soon, there will be detrimental effects to the Canadian economy. For example, supply chain congestion experienced during the pandemic will likely become a regular occurrence, plus Canadian importers and exporters will likely need to ship goods via U.S. ports, increasing costs and reducing benefits to Canadians.”
Inconveniently for the Port of Vancouver, their own “Container Traffic Report” indicates a decrease in full container volumes by 1.8% in 2021 compared to 2020.
It is also important to note that export of empty containers increased by 54% - in 2021 980,000 containers leaving the Port of Vancouver were empty.
So why is it exactly that the Port of Vancouver’s Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project, which will increase West Coast container capacity by 2.4 million TEUs, is so urgently needed? Not to mention the tremendous cost ($3.5 billion taxpayer-backed) and environmental impacts of building an artificial island in the Salish Sea…
In addition, the Port of Prince Rupert already has projects underway that will increase West Coast container capacity by 250,000 TEUs by the summer of 2022 and by an additional 200,000 TEUs by 2024.
Of course, Canada will eventually need additional container capacity on the West Coast, but that will be well into the 2030s. So, there is no need to rush a project like the Port of Vancouver’s Terminal 2 particularly given the massive cost to taxpayers and tremendous and irreversible impacts on the environment.
The private sector, GCT Global Container Terminals, has a plan to incrementally add West Coast container capacity as it is needed, in a way that minimizes environmental impact, and is fully funded by private investment, not taxpayers.