Canadian Shipper


Plans underway to expand Centerm container terminal

VANCOUVER, B.C.–Port Metro Vancouver will be investigating design options to expand Centerm container terminal to help address the anticipated shortfall in future container capacity.

Trade to and from Canada, especially with Asia, is growing. Independent forecasts show that container traffic on Canada’s west coast will double over the next 10 to 15 years to accommodate growing demand for Canadian imports and exports. Even with new capacity at Deltaport terminal and planned expansion in Prince Rupert, the ability to accommodate more containers on the west coast of Canada will still need to increase by the early 2020s.

As such, Port Metro Vancouver is actively pursuing options to maximize existing infrastructure and develop new capacity, provided it can be done sustainably and with particular sensitivity to the environment and neighbouring communities, said a port release.

Centerm, operated by DP World, is located north of Vancouver’s Main Street and is one of three primary container terminals located within the Vancouver Gateway, handling approximately one fifth of the port’s annual container cargo. The decision to retire the aging Ballantyne Cruise Terminal, which lies just east of Centerm, and consolidate cruise operations to Canada Place in 2015 provides an opportunity to meet the near-term demand for container handling capacity in the Gateway.

Design options will be determined over the next year. Port Metro Vancouver is committed to a fulsome consultative process with the community and other stakeholders prior to finalizing the design for Centerm expansion.

The project, to be built in cooperation with DP World, is expected to cost at least $250 million with proposed construction beginning in late 2016.

With respect to Ballantyne, its heritage façade will be incorporated into the Centerm expansion or some other appropriate use if engineering studies confirm it can be repurposed, said a release.