Port of Halifax

  (Redirected from Halifax Port Authority)

The Port of Halifax comprises various port facilities in Halifax Harbour in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It covers 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi) of land, and looks after 150 km2 (58 sq mi) of water.[8]

Port of Halifax
Port of Halifax Logo.svg
LocationHalifax, Nova Scotia
Coordinates44°38′10″N 63°33′04″W / 44.636°N 63.551°W / 44.636; -63.551Coordinates: 44°38′10″N 63°33′04″W / 44.636°N 63.551°W / 44.636; -63.551
Type of harborNatural
Size of harbor15,000 hectares (150 km2)[2]
Land area1,000 hectares (10 km2)[3]
Available berths34 [4]
Draft depth16.8 m.[4]
President and CEOCaptain Allan Gray
Annual cargo tonnage4,454,707[5]
Annual container volume546,691 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) (2019)[6]
Passenger traffic323,709 (2019)[7]

Strategically located as North America's first inbound and last outbound gateway, the port of Halifax is a naturally deep, wide, ice-free harbour with minimal tides and is two days closer to Europe and one day closer to Southeast Asia (via the Suez Canal) than any other North American East Coast port. In addition, it is one of just a few eastern seaboard ports able to accommodate and service fully laden post-Panamax container ships using the latest technology.

With 17 of the world's top shipping lines calling the port, including transshipment, feeder ship services and direct access to Canadian National Railway (CN) inland network, the port of Halifax is connected virtually to every market in North America and over 150 countries worldwide supporting the delivery of all types of cargoes. Annually the port handles over 1,500 vessels, generates 15,000 jobs and $2 billion in economic impact. Halifax is one of Canada's top four container ports in terms of the volume of cargo handled.[9]


After the Royal Navy withdrew from Halifax in 1905, the dockyards were handed over to the Government of Canada. Prior to World War I, the government began the Ocean Terminals project. A new railway was built through the city's South End to service the modern piers, the first of which opened in the early 1920s.[10] Shipping grew sharply during World War II.[10]

With the containerisation revolution of shipping, it was decided to build a container terminal in Halifax. The South End Container Terminal opened in the South End in 1969 at the site of the former Seaward Defence Base.[11]

A specialised vehicular processing facility, the Autoport, was opened in 1971. It provides various pre-distribution services in addition to basic loading and off-loading. The number of vehicles handled annually by the Autoport has grown from 100,000 in 1979 to about 185,000 today.[10][12]

By the late 1970s the South End Container Terminal was operating at capacity, handling more tonnage than any other container terminal in Canada.[10] A second container terminal at Fairview Cove was therefore built at a cost of $47 million and opened in 1982.[13] It was originally a single-berth facility, and operations were contracted out to Cerescorp Inc. The terminal has since been expanded. In 2003, Ceres (now a subsidiary of Nippon Yusen) successfully bid on a continued operations contract, effective January 1, 2003 for 20 years.[14]

In 2005 the Fairview Cove Container Terminal berth depth was deepened to 16.8 metres (55 ft) (as deep as the New Panama Canal).

In 2012 a major expansion of the South End Container Terminal was completed. The depth of the berth was increased from 14.5 to 16 metres (48 to 52 ft) and the pier was extended.[15]

In June 2017 it welcomed its first Neopanamax vessel, the ZIM Antwerp.[16]

On August 1, 2019, PSA International completed its acquisition the former Halterm south end container terminal from Macquarie Group[17]

In 2021, 16,020-TEU CMA CGM Explorer-class container ships made their inaugural visits to the PSA south-end terminal.[18]


Many major port facilities are owned by the Halifax Port Authority (HPA), a port authority operating as a federally regulated Crown corporation of the Government of Canada. HPA has responsibility of managing 260 acres federally owned marine industrial land in Halifax Harbour.

The HPA was created on March 1, 1999 and succeeds the Halifax Port Corporation (HPC). HPC was the successor to the National Harbours Board, which operated all federally owned ports in Canada. Halifax was one of the first of eighteen national ports in Canada which implemented this administrative change as required by the Canada Marine Act which passed on June 11, 1998.


Container ship in Halifax Harbour

Halifax Port Authority administers Halifax Port Authority facilities include:

  • South End Container Terminal – Piers 36–42 (operated by PSA Halifax)
  • Ocean Terminals – Piers 23–34
  • Seaport (formerly the Seawall) – Piers 20–22, Cruise Ship Pavilion and Pier 21 museum, NSCAD University, HPA administrative building
  • Halifax Grain Elevator (leased and operated by Halifax Grain Elevator Limited)
  • Richmond Terminals – Piers 9 and 9A
  • Richmond Offshore Terminals – Piers 9B–9D (multi-user supply base for offshore oil and gas exploration/production)
  • Fairview Cove Container Terminal – (currently operated by Cerescorp)
  • Sheet Harbour Industrial Port[19]

Major port facilities not owned or administered by HPA:

All HPA facilities except the Sheet Harbour Port are serviced by Canadian National.

Cruise shipsEdit

Cruise ship berthed at the Port of Halifax

In addition to being one of the world's largest natural harbours for breakbulk, bulk, roll-on/roll-off, containerized and project cargoes, the Halifax seaport has become an increasingly popular port of call for cruise ships from around the world. In 2019, the Port of Halifax had 179 cruise vessel calls with over 323,000 passengers aboard. It is estimated that cruise passengers alone contribute about $172 million to Halifax's economy every year.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "UNLOCODE (CA) - CANADA". www.unece.org. UNECE. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Port Information Guide; Port of Halifax 2018" (PDF). portofhalifax.ca. Port of Halifax. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Port Information Guide; Port of Halifax 2018" (PDF). portofhalifax.ca. Port of Halifax. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Port of Halifax, Canada". www.findaport.com. Shipping Guides Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Cargo Statistics". Port of Halifax. Port of Halifax. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Cargo Statistics". Port of Halifax. Port of Halifax. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Cargo Statistics". Port of Halifax. Port of Halifax. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Port Information Guide; Port of Halifax: May 2020" (PDF). portofhalifax.ca. Port of Halifax. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  9. ^ Bonney, Joseph (2 September 2013). "Canada's Big 4 Container Ports Put Focus on Infrastructure". The Journal of Commerce.
  10. ^ a b c d Forward, Charles (1982). "The Development of Canada's Five Leading National Ports". Urban History Review. 10 (3): 25–46. doi:10.7202/1019078ar.
  11. ^ Watkins, Lyndon (26 October 1981). "New terminal step forward for Halifax port". The Globe and Mail. p. B14.
  12. ^ "Autoport". Port of Halifax. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Halifax terminal seen as viable". The Globe and Mail. 8 July 1982. p. B13.
  14. ^ "Ceres/NYK wins bid to continue running terminal at Halifax". Canadian Transportation Logistics. 105 (11). Nov–Dec 2002.
  15. ^ Power, Bill (13 February 2012). "$35m port terminal project nearing completion". Halifax Chronicle-Herald.
  16. ^ Brett Bundale, Port of Halifax to welcome massive container ship the length of Canada’s tallest skyscraper, The Canadian Press (via Toronto Star), June 27, 2017
  17. ^ PSA International acquires Halterm Container Terminal
  18. ^ CBC News. Halifax breaks record after welcoming massive container ship
  19. ^ "Sheet Harbour Industrial Port". Halifax Port Authority. Retrieved 25 November 2015.

External linksEdit