Port Metro Vancouver

Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest and busiest port, a dynamic gateway for domestic and international trade and tourism, and a major economic force that strengthens the Canadian economy.

Located only 352 kilometres from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District's (TNRD) major city centre, Kamloops, B.C, the Port Metro Vancouver is accessible via the Coquihalla or Trans-Canada Highways.

Positioned on the southwest coast of British Columbia in Canada, Port Metro Vancouver is North America’s gateway to the world’s most dynamic economies. Port jurisdiction covers more than 600 kilometres of shoreline and extends from Point Roberts at the Canada/U.S. border through Burrard Inlet to Port Moody and Indian Arm, and from the mouth of the Fraser River, eastward to the Fraser Valley, north along the Pitt River to Pitt Lake, and includes the north and middle arms of the Fraser River.

As the fourth largest tonnage port in North America, we offer 28 major marine cargo terminals and three Class 1 railroads, providing a full range of facilities and services to the international shipping community.

Port Metro Vancouver's deep-sea terminals offer virtually no draft restrictions, Super Post-Panamax capacity and extensive on-dock rail facilities. The Port's freshwater facilities offer integrated services for the automobile and coastal forest industries, and for short-sea shipping. Port Metro Vancouver serves as homeport for the Vancouver-Alaska cruise industry.

As the most diversified port in North America, Port Metro Vancouver operates across five business sectors: automobiles, breakbulk, bulk, container and cruise. The Port facilitates trade with more than 160 world economies, and handles nearly 130 million tonnes of cargo each year. Almost 95 percent of the Port’s total volume serves Canadian import and export markets.


Ashcroft Terminal

Inland Terminals, the world over, are successful when they are strategically located to improve the supply chain for the railroads, producers and shippers.

Ashcroft Terminal (AT) is such a facility.

Every railcar that travels on the Class 1 mainlines, must go directly through Ashcroft Terminal.

Located at the Eastern end of CP/CN mainline co-production, Ashcroft is the last location westbound, and the first location eastbound, at which mainline traffic can stop, to or from, Metro Vancouver.

Shippers, producers, manufacturers who are working with AT to remove bottlenecks and smooth out their product moves, have been amazed at the efficiency of this one of a kind solution.

Ashcroft Terminal currently services all sectors of the Natural Resource Industries in Western Canada from Agriculture, Mining, Oil & Gas to Forestry by providing material handling, transloading, logistics solutions and railcar storage.

For more information visit www.ashcroftterminal.com

Squamish Terminals

Squamish Terminals Ltd. is a deep-water, break-bulk terminal located in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada and since 1972 has been serving customers in Western Canada, across North America and around the world.

Squamish Terminals is situated at the north end of the Howe Sound; just 416 kilometres from the City of Kamloops and only 32 nautical miles north of the Port of Vancouver. Squamish Terminals is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grieg Star Shipping AS (based in Bergen, Norway).

With two berthsthree warehousesspecialized handling equipment, an experienced work force and an intermodal transportation infrastructure (including rail, ocean and truck), Squamish Terminals efficiently imports and exports cargo to major markets worldwide.

The type of cargo Squamish Terminals handles includes, but is not necessarily limited to, forest products (e.g. wood pulp, panel, lumber), steel products (e.g. pipe, rebar, coil, h-beam, plate), and special project cargo (e.g. yachts, trailers, windmill parts, turbines).

Every year Squamish Terminals services roughly 100 ships, 10,000 rail cars, and 4,500 trucks. The terminal employs 95 FTE employees, and spends more than $8 million per year on payroll.

Potential employees can visit their careers page.

Port of Prince Rupert

World class terminals, ranging from container to cruise, make the Port of Prince Rupert ready to handle any challenge.  The natural, deep water harbour easily accommodates the largest of vessels. Fast, efficient turnarounds save you both time and money. More than 400 hectares of available, industrially-zoned land offer unique construction opportunities for heavy industry.

While the Port of Prince Rupert is the furthest port facility from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District - 1,259 kilometres from the City of Kamloops - it is the fastest growing and, arguably, the most advantageous port facility in the province.

The port of Prince Rupert enjoys many strategic advantages that translate into competitive advantages for companies interested in doing business here, including:

  • The closest port to Asia on the west coast of North America - up to 3 days closer than U.S. west coast ports
  • Superior uncongested rail and road connections between Prince Rupert and the rest of the North American continent, resulting in superior cargo transit times America's mid-west
  • The deepest natural, ice-free harbour in North America, able to accommodate the largest of container vessels
  • Safe, sheltered and unfettered access to and from international shipping lanes
  • Significant capacity for growth

» Download Prince Rupert's Transportation and Logistics Sector Profile for more information. 

World-Class Port Facilities in Prince Rupert include:

Fairview Container Terminal

The 24 hectare (59 acre) facility is the first dedicated intermodal (ship to rail) container terminal in North America with the design capacity to move 500,000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) per year. The 22 meter (72 feet) wharf extension provides a berth depth of 18.7 meters (61.4 feet), enabling the terminal to easily accommodate container ships in excess of 12,500 TEUs. 

Container ship cargo is offloaded by Maher Terminals three 1,800 tonne super post panamax cranes with a reach of 22 containers. The container yard can hold 9,000 TEUs and has outlets for refrigerated containers. Upon completion of Phase 2, the container terminal will have a two million TEU capacity, making it the second largest handling facility on the West Coast.


Ridley Terminals Inc.

Ridley Terminals Inc., a federal crown corporation, owns and operates the most advanced coal unload and loading terminal, making it a world leader in the efficient and reliable movement of coal from unit trains onto ships. It loads metallurgical and thermal coal, petroleum coke, wood pellets, and has the potential to ship other products such as sulfur.

As a fully automated facility, the 55 hectare terminal loads at a rate of 9,000 tonnes per hour. Favoured for its low-cost operating ability, RTI's coal port has an annual shipping capacity of 12 million tonnes and storage capacity of 1.2 million tonnes. This highly efficient facility features technology that protects the environment, making it the most advanced of its kind.

Ridley Terminals Inc. has handed 250,000 DWT vessels, but with its berth-side depth of 22 meters, it could readily handle VLCC vessels of 350,000 DWT.

Prince Rupert Grain Ltd.

With capacity to ship in excess of seven million tonnes a year, Prince Rupert Grain's modern terminal has the highest throughput of any grain-cleaning elevator in Canada.

Its eight shipping bins and three tower-mounted loading spouts can load up to 4,000 tonnes of wheat or barley an hour. Using state-of-the-art technology, grain can be cleaned as fast as it is unloaded from rail cars.

Northland Cruise Terminal

This facility consists of a system of 8 mooring/breasting dolphins with a floating dock mid-ship. The berth is connected to the terminal via a 150 foot, two part passenger boarding system indexed to tide range to accommodate <10% grade.

The 4,000 square foot terminal building accommodates Canada Customs and Immigration operations for foreign arrivals. The terminal accommodates vessels of up to 300 meters (960 ft.) in length and 15 meters (50 ft.) in draft. A 45 meter floating platform provides for ease of passenger transfer from the ship to a 70 meter gangway in constant adjustment to the tide. A terminal building provides Customs and Immigration services.

Immigration services.

Private Port of Kitimat

The private Port of Kitimat has three existing deep sea marine terminals each owned and operated by the industrial entity it serves. The terminals handle the shipment of pulp, linerboard, wood chips, methanol, condensate, alumina, pitch, coke, fluoride and aluminum ingots.

The terminals are all located at the north end of the Kitimat Arm of the Douglas Channel. It is classified as the deepest and closets inland port on Canada’s northwest transportation and trade corridor with cost comparable rail service to the Chicago region and midwest of the United States.

Kitimat has a longer piloted travel distance to berth (ten hours) than Prince Rupert (five hours) and Vancouver (eight hours). The relatively calmer sea conditions for moorage, wide channel (ranging from 1.5 kilometres to 2.5 kilometres), deep water depths (about 180 metres), and modest tides suggest less likely interruption of operations due to adverse conditions.

The harbour anchorages are in waters with modest wave heights and currents. Approximately four deep sea vessels can be at harbour anchorages at one time. Additional anchorages are available as close as 14 nautical miles to the south of the harbour and further away through the approach fjord.

Download the Private Port of Kitimat brochure, an excerpt from Trade & Commerce Magazine.

RioTinto Alcan

The RioTinto Alcan terminal has a single deep-sea berth which functions for both import and export cargoes together with a deep-sea barge ramp. The wharf is 229.5 metres long and has a depth alongside of 10.67 metres capable of handling handymax size vessels. It is well maintained for the existing operations.

In 2011, RioTinto Alcan purchased an additional terminal located in Kitimat, the "Eurocan terminal", from West Fraser Timber.  Originally constructed with a single berth in 1967, a second berth was added in the late 1980s.  Both berths are 137 metres long. Berth number one has a depth of 14 metres capable of handling up to panamax size vessels. Berth number two has a depth of 10.9 metres capable of handling up to handymax size vessels. The terminal is accessed through a private paved road system.


Methanex operated a methanol export plant until ceasing production in 2005. It now imports condensate for EnCana’s Alberta operations. The plant and storage tanks are located approximately five kilometres north of the terminal and are connected by a series of pipes and a paved road.

The terminal consists of a 900 metre long causeway constructed from reclaimed land with a single marine berthing structure on the southwest tip. The berth is 430 metres long with a depth alongside of 12 metres capable of handling a panama size vessel with tidal assist. The berth has handling facilities for methanol, condensate and ammonia. The jetty and berthing facilities are well maintained for the existing operations.

EnCana has an option to purchase the plant and terminal.

Port of Stewart

The Stewart harbour has existing port facilities on the West and East sides of the harbour. The West side has an existing mineral concentrate deep sea export terminal, Stewart Bulk Terminals, with sufficient capacity for foreseeable needs. The East side has an existing log storage and dump for log exports.

There is opportunity to accommodate bulk shipments of coal, aggregates, wood pellets, wood chips, and general cargo traffic. Infrastructure does not exist for these products and the existing arrangement of port facilities prohibits increased facility construction. A new configuration is required to accommodate the marine environment, flood protection, and minimize maintenance dredging.

The Bear River is a geologically immature river that carries average sediment of 300,000 cubic metres per year. The sedimentation is causing aggrading of the river bed at Stewart and the harbour reducing the accessible deep sea terminal facilities and raising the water level to the town. The structure of the harbour and the Bear River require maintenance dredging of between 100,000 and 300,000 cubic metres per year to maintain the town dyke system, moorage berthing, and vessel access to terminal structures. Continuous dyke raising is not an option requiring the dredging to preserve the town itself from flooding. Over the past 40 years the aggradation has resulted in a 60 metre advance of the low water line into the main harbour area and can be expected to have negative impacts on deep sea ship use into the future unless active dredging occurs.

The western side of the harbour has significant layers of organic materials suggesting it is more subject to compaction and settling. The eastern side of the harbour has coarser materials suggesting a firmer foundation for facilities constructed. Existing facilities are stable but construction of new facilities will be materially impacted by quality of foundation materials.

Stewart Bulk Terminals

Stewart Bulk Terminals has the berthing structure to receive vessels up to 50,000 dwt and total storage capacity of 40,000 tonnes of concentrates between two storage buildings. Typical vessel sizes serviced by the terminal are 25,000 to 40,000 dwt in

size. Vessel loading rates are 700 to 800 tonnes per hour meaning a full ship loading cycle of 31.25 to 57.14 hours. Common vessel cycle time is about 24 hours with only partial cargos sometimes requiring topping off in Vancouver or topping off in Stewart after loading in Alaska.

In 1999 the facility loaded total tonnage of 418,000 tonnes for a ship average of 19,000 tonnes from four mines. In 2008 only shipments from one mine, Huckleberry, remained. Opportunities exist to expand the terminal by construction of a 1.84 ha sheet pile and fill wharf expansion to allow handling of barged general cargoes, barged bulk cargoes, containers, equipment and forest products.

Deep Sea Log Export Facilities

The District of Stewart Log Terminal provides opportunities for logs to be sorted and dumped into the shallow mud flats on the west side of the harbour area. Logs are stored in boom bundles until deep sea log export ships arrive. Small tug boats bring small booms from mud flat storage to shipside where they are loaded directly from the water with ship based loading gear.

Other Facilities

Other facilities within the harbour are not in active use. Facilities such as the former Arrow Dock are no longer useable due to advance of the Bear River delta.

The Northland Dock is considered to be in good condition and has been historically used for barged general cargoes. Water depth could be an issue for future use other than shallow barges.