Port of Vancouver

The Port of Vancouver is the largest port in Canada and the fourth largest in North America by tonnes of cargo, facilitating trade between Canada and more than 170 world economies. The port is managed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which was created in 2008 as an amalgamation of the former Port of Vancouver, the North Fraser Port Authority, and the Fraser River Port Authority. It is the principal authority for shipping and port-related land and sea use in the Metro Vancouver region.

Port of Vancouver
Port of Vancouver logo.svg
LocationVancouver, British Columbia
Coordinates49°16′37″N 123°07′15″W / 49.27694°N 123.12083°W / 49.27694; -123.12083
Opened2008 (as amalgamation of former Port of Vancouver, North Fraser Port Authority and Fraser River Port Authority)
Size of harbour16,000 hectares
Land area1,000 hectares
Size350 kilometres
No. of berths57[2]
Draft depth18.4 m.[2]
ChairJudy Rogers
Annual cargo tonnage147 million metric revenue tons[3]
Annual container volume3.4 million TEU[3]
Value of cargo$240 billion CAD[3]
Passenger traffic889,162 passengers
241 sailings[3]
Foreign vessel calls3,145[3]
Major marine terminals27


The Port of Vancouver
Deltaport/Roberts Bank Superport aerial view 2014


Prior to the formation of the new authority, there were three separate port authorities in the Metro Vancouver region: the Port of Vancouver, which was the largest port in Canada; the Fraser River Port Authority; and the North Fraser Port Authority.

The Vancouver Port Authority was responsible for the Port of Vancouver, which was the largest port in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. The port had 25 major terminals. The port first began operations with the opening of Ballantyne Pier in 1923.[4] In 2005/2006, the port handled 79.4 million tonnes of cargo,[5] 1.8 million containers, 910,172 cruise passengers, and 2,677 foreign vessels.[6] The authority was responsible for 233 km of coastline from Vancouver to the Canada–United States border.[7]

The Fraser River Port Authority was created in 1913 to manage ports along the Fraser River. It was the second largest port in Vancouver and extended along the main arm of the river eastward to the Fraser Valley at Kanaka Creek, and north along the Pitt River to Pitt Lake. The Port's jurisdiction encompassed 270 kilometres of shoreline that border nine different municipalities in the Lower Mainland.[8] In 2007, the port handled 36 million tonnes of cargo, 191,000 TEUs of containerized cargo, and 573 cargo vessels. The cargo at the port consisted of logs, cement, general cargo, steel, and automobiles.[9] Its tenants included several large auto ports, making it the largest auto port in Canada.[10]

The North Fraser Port Authority was incorporated in 1913 as the North Fraser Harbour Commissioners.[11] It was the smallest of the three ports and was located on the north arm of the Fraser River from the University of British Columbia to New Westminster. The traffic of the port mainly consisted of logs and wood fibre. The port covered around 920 hectares of land and water lots and it handled nearly 18 million tonnes of cargo in 2004.[10]


Although the ports were financially self-sufficient, the federal legislation governing the authorities generated some inefficiency because the port authorities, legally separate entities, were forced to compete with each other economically for business. This inefficiency came to the attention of the local media in 2006 when it was found that the recently expanded Fraser Surrey Docks, operated by the Fraser River Port Authority in New Westminster, were sitting idle after their principal shipping partner, CP Ships, relocated to the Port of Vancouver, already nearing capacity.[12] Some critics opposed the possible merger as they felt the new authority would not recognize the unique concerns of the Fraser River.[12]

To increase the efficiency of the ports of Metro Vancouver, the federal Minister of Transport permitted the three authorities to study the benefits of amalgamating in June 2006. The resulting report highlighted several benefits of amalgamation, and on June 16, Transport Canada granted a "certificate of intent to amalgamate port authorities". On December 21, 2007, the government of Canada published a certificate of amalgamation that allowed the three port authorities to merge into one effective January 1, 2008.[13] The resulting entity became known as Port Metro Vancouver.


Since 2013, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority also merged with Canada Place Corporation, which formerly operated Canada Place as a subsidiary of Port of Vancouver.[14]

On April 6, 2016, the port authority dropped "Port Metro Vancouver" from its branding and re-adopted "Port of Vancouver" to refer to Vancouver's port, while using "Vancouver Fraser Port Authority" when referencing activities or decisions of the port authority.[15]


The Port of Vancouver is managed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, formerly called Port Metro Vancouver. It was created with the responsibility for the stewardship of the federal port lands in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. It was created as a financially self-sufficient company that is accountable to the federal minister of transport and operates pursuant to the Canada Marine Act. The port authority and port terminals and tenants are responsible for the efficient and reliable movement of goods and passengers, integrating environmental, social and economic sustainability initiatives into all areas of port operations.[16]

In 2014, the Port of Vancouver was the fourth largest port by tonnage in the Americas, 29th in the world in terms of total cargo and 44th in the world by container traffic.[17] The port enables the trade of approximately $240 billion in goods. Port activities sustain 115,300 jobs, $7 billion in wages, and $11.9 billion in GDP across Canada.[18]

Major initiativesEdit

Location of Vancouver within Metro Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada

The Container Capacity Improvement Program (CCIP) is the port's long-term strategy to meet anticipated growth in container traffic, which is expected to triple by the year 2030. The program consists of projects that both improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure and explore opportunities to build new infrastructure as demand rises. CCIP projects include the Deltaport Terminal Road and Rail Improvement Project (DTRRIP) and the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project.[19]

DTTRIP will result in infrastructure upgrades that would increase Deltaport's container capacity by 600,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), within the terminal's existing footprint. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project is a proposed marine container terminal that could provide an additional capacity of 2.4 million TEUs per year to meet forecasted demand until 2030.[20]

North Shore Trade Area projectsEdit

  • Western Level Lower Level Route Extension
  • Pemberton Avenue Grade Separation
  • Low Level Road Realignment[21]
  • Neptune/Cargill Grade Separation
  • Brooksbank Avenue Underpass[22]
  • Lynn Creek Rail Bridge Addition [22]

South Shore Trade Area projectsEdit

  • Powell Street Grade Separation
  • Stewart Street/Victoria Overpass

Environmental initiativesEdit

Terminals and facilitiesEdit

Ship loading sulfur (brimstone).
Warehouse to stock goods before or after loading.

Port of Vancouver offers 30 deep-sea and domestic marine terminals that service five business sectors: automobiles, break-bulk, bulk, containers, and cruise.

Automobile terminalsEdit

Break-bulk terminalsEdit

Bulk terminalsEdit

Container terminalsEdit

Cruise terminalsEdit


In January 2019, the cargo ship Ever Summit crashed into a crane. There was no death or injuries.[25]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "UNLOCODE (CA) - CANADA". Unece.org. UNECE. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Port of Vancouver, Canada". Findaport.com. Shipping Guides Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e [1][dead link]
  4. ^ “Port of Vancouver – Yesterday." Archived 2006-03-28 at the Wayback Machine [video] Port of Vancouver [website].
  5. ^ "2007 Manitoba Transportation Report" (PDF). University of Manitoba. March 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Ginnell, Kevin; Smith, Patrick; Oberlander, H. Peter (December 2008). "Data" (PDF) – via CORE.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "BC talks about a 'super port authority'". Ajot.com. Retrieved 2021-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Fraser River Port - Review and History". World Port Source. Retrieved 2021-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Fraser River Port - Port Commerce". World Port Source. Retrieved 2021-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ a b "BC talks about a 'super port authority'". Ajot.com. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  11. ^ Branch, Legislative Services (2015-08-18). "Consolidated federal laws of canada, Consolidated Acts". Laws-lois.justice.gc.ca. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  12. ^ a b "Canada.Com". O.canada.com. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  13. ^ [2] Archived 2009-01-23 at the Wayback Machine About Us - Port Metro Vancouver
  14. ^ "Canada Place Corporation". Canadaplace.ca. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  15. ^ "Port authority makes name change to provide clarity". Port of Vancouver. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  16. ^ "About us". Portvancouver.com. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  17. ^ "American Association of Port Authorities - World Port Rankings (2016)" (XLSX). Aapa.files.cms-plus.com.
  18. ^ "2008 PMV Economic Impact Study". Portmetrovancouver.com. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  19. ^ "Port poised to begin expansion talks in earnest". Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  20. ^ Gyarmati, Sandor. "Deadline for feedback on T2 is drawing near". Delta-optimist.com.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-17. Retrieved 2012-11-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2012-11-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ https://www.portvancouver.com/environmental-protection-at-the-port-of-vancouver/maintaining-healthy-ecosystems-throughout-our-jurisdiction/echo-program/. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ https://www.portvancouver.com/environmental-protection-at-the-port-of-vancouver/maintaining-healthy-ecosystems-throughout-our-jurisdiction/echo-program/echo-program-annual-reports-and-peer-reviewed-papers/. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "Crane collapse cripples freight as 'The Beast' works to restore Vancouver port terminal". Cbc.ca. Retrieved July 19, 2022.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 49°17′17″N 123°06′46″W / 49.28795°N 123.11267°W / 49.28795; -123.11267