As part of our work to ensure there is enough space for growing trade on Canada’s west coast, the port authority regularly commissions independent, expert third-party container traffic forecasts that consider long-term trends in global markets and trade, as well as a range of other drivers of container traffic demand. The findings of these forecasts, which have proven to be very accurate, conclude that container traffic to and from the West Coast is expected to grow significantly, well into the future.

Canada’s west coast shipping container terminals connect us to economies worldwide, and the volume of shipping containers they handle has grown steadily in past decades, growing on average to about 161,933 TEUs each year since 2012.

There are several reasons for this sustained period of high growth, including ongoing economic growth in Canada and around the world, the opening of China’s economy in the early 2000s, and the increasing preference for containers to move goods, such as grain, lumber, and steel, that were previously shipped by other methods.

2020 view of projected containerized trade growth on the West Coast of Canada. The base case represents the scenario that we deem the most realistic and likely to occur by applying the most probable assumptions.

2020 view of projected containerized trade growth on the West Coast of Canada. The base case represents the scenario that we deem the most realistic and likely to occur by applying the most probable assumptions.

Based on our container traffic and capacity forecasts, the entire capacity of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is needed to ensure Canada is able to meet trade plans and objectives through to the mid- to late-2030s.

Learn how containers transformed global trade and how we’re working to ensure the port is ready for Canada’s trading future.

Planning to meet demand

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