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Port Metro Vancouver 2013 Statistics: Maintaining Balance Amongst Growth

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/24/14 -- Canada's largest and most diverse port has released its 2013 year-end results showing continued growth, including a repeat of record volumes in the container and bulk sectors. In 2013, Port Metro Vancouver also advanced several ongoing capacity building infrastructure projects, updated and extended environmental initiatives, and participated in substantial community engagement activities.

The 2013 year-end statistics report shows that Port Metro Vancouver handled 135 million tonnes of cargo, a record for the Port, and an overall increase of 9% over 2012. Import and export tonnage maintained balanced growth, showing a 9% increase each. Increased demand for Canadian products, an ongoing transition to a consumer-based economy in China, and recovery in Asia have fueled the continued growth of Canadian trade through the Port.

"As we see continued growth of Canada's trade moving through Port Metro Vancouver, we strive to balance this growth with the need to protect our environment and respect the quality of life of our neighbours," said Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer, Port Metro Vancouver. "Looking to the future, we remain firmly committed to facilitating Canada's trade, environmental stewardship, improved reliability, enhanced customer value, and improving the quality of life of British Columbians and Canadians through enabling economic activity."

Bulk cargo volumes also rose by 11%, buoyed by increases in coal and grain.

"Another year of growth at Port Metro Vancouver provides ongoing proof of the strength of the Canadian economy, and the success of our trade development focused policies and infrastructure investments," said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport. "As we have acted to increase trade ties with Europe through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and look now to expand opportunities with Asia through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), our forward thinking investments in infrastructure, coupled with Port Metro Vancouver's reputation as a reliable and competitive gateway, are contributing to the prosperity of Canadians across the country."

Cruise passenger numbers jumped 22%, providing significant injection into the local tourism economy, and container traffic continued growth at 4%, with a near equal number of import and export containers moving through the port.

"Port Metro Vancouver is a key enabler of British Columbia's economy, supporting more than 76,000 jobs across the province," said the Honourable Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "We are experiencing the success of the Pacific Gateway Strategy, as we continue to see growth in trade through the gateway and family supporting jobs that come with it."

Port Metro Vancouver is Canada's largest gateway, handling 19% of Canada's total trade. Economic activity supported by the Port generates more than 57,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Lower Mainland, providing an average wage that is $23,000 above the national average. Across Canada, the port generates an estimated 100,000 jobs, and provides $9.7 billion in direct GDP. For full details, please read Port Metro Vancouver's Statistics Overview 2013.

Backgrounder:


--  Auto volumes of 378,883 units ended the year with a slight decrease
    after a strong rebound in 2012. This decrease can be attributed to
    increases in North American production of vehicles.
--  Breakbulk cargo of more than 17,000,000 tonnes represents an increase of
    2%, with more notable increases in logs to 9,063,492 tonnes (up 8.2 %).
--  Bulk volumes of 92.7 million tonnes represents an increase of 10.7% from
    last year, with dry bulk (11.7%) and liquid bulk (3.5%) both up. Coal
    volumes rose by 16.6%, and substantial increases occurred amongst grain
    and specialty crops, notably for wheat (26.2%), specialty crops (58%),
    and barley (273%). Crude petroleum declined by 5% (largely due to
    increased demand in the United States), while refined products rose,
    such as gasoline (2.1%).
--  Container traffic volumes continued to grow, showing a 4% increase in
    2013, for a record total of 2.83 Million TEUs(i). Total inbound TEUs
    rose 3.9%, and outbound rose 4.4%. Increases can be attributed to such
    items as an increase in export of specialty grains by container, and
    increased consumer spending in Canada.
--  Cruise passenger numbers jumped twenty 22% in 2013, with a 23% increase
    in vessel calls over 2012. In 2013 Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 812,398
    passengers, on 235 calls, by 29 vessels.
--  Infrastructure projects that build capacity, maximize efficiency and
    density and minimize community impacts of port operations moved forward
    in 2013. An elevated road structure as part of the South Shore Corridor
    Project (Vancouver) was completed in November, construction on the Low
    Level Road Project (North Vancouver) and Deltaport Terminal Road and
    Rail Improvement Project (Delta), and the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor
    Projects (Lower Mainland) continued, and in the fall an Environmental
    Assessment process began for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project
    (Delta).
--  Foreign vessel calls were up almost 3%, to 3,166.
--  Community engagement activities and participation in community events
    continues to be a key priority. In 2013, Port Metro Vancouver staff led,
    attended and participated in more than 500 community engagement events.
--  Environmental Initiatives included collaboration with the Port of
    Seattle seaport and the Port of Tacoma in Washington State to update the
    Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy with the goal of reducing diesel
    particulate emissions by 75% per ton of cargo by 2015, and 80% by 2020.
     In addition, Port Metro Vancouver's EcoAction program promoted emission
    reduction measures that exceed the current North American Emission
    Control Area requirements. Vessels may qualify for one of three levels
    of reduced harbour due rates based on implementing one of the emission
    reduction options within a given category. The reduced rates, Bronze,
    Silver and Gold, are designed to provide a wide variety of fuel options
    to vessels. In 2013, 549 ships applied to our EcoAction program,
    including:
    --  243 calls for Gold
    --  200 calls for Silver
    --  106 calls for Bronze

A total of $1.158 million in discounts were provided to vessels going beyond requirements to reduce emissions through the EcoAction Program in 2013. In addition, Sir Richard Branson and the Carbon War room recently endorsed the initiative. Read more here.

(i) Twenty-foot equivalent unit containers.

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