Compelling logistics: Harnessing the power of the West Canadian Coast

Compelling logistics: Harnessing the power of the West Canadian Coast

Date: 09/01/2023

A fivefold growth in six years shows how strong demand is for Canadian logistics – and not just at port cities like Prince Rupert. Vancouver is also part of the Canadian revolution that’s sweeping shipping.

In fact, the port of Vancouver is the largest in Canada. Its Centerm Container Terminal, operated by DP World since 2006, sits at the heart of the company’s strategy to harness the power of the Canadian West Coast to reimagine global supply chains.

Rapid expansion reflecting demand

This surge in demand for services in Canada is set against a backdrop of increasing pressure on traditional shipping routes to the US. The rise in global trade volumes and in offshoring, together with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, placed strains on the operational capacity and efficiency of US trade centres and ports, stretching labour forces and equipment.

Our investments in our ports in Canada have helped establish them as an efficient and cost-effective alternative and a major gateway to Asia.

Our port in Vancouver is a 72-acre container terminal and it’s only 30 miles from the US border, speeding up connections between Canada, Asia and the US markets. It’s also multi-modal - offering direct connections to road and rail. Expanding Centerm began in 2019 and focuses on modernisation of the infrastructure and on boosting capacity without taking up too much more land space.

In the same area, our Fraser Surrey terminal is Western Canada’s first to be fitted with rotating container technology that makes the transportation of commodities more efficient. Primarily used for copper concentrate, our vision is to expand this to other minerals, grains, coal, wheat and sugar. That will help underscore Fraser Surrey’s position as a logistics epicentre for us, with strong rail connectivity and truck access.

We’ve also launched a barge service connecting our Nanaimo (Duke Point) terminal with Vancouver. Investing millions of dollars in this and other improvements will enhance access to international markets and make logistics in the area more efficient and competitive – and we are just getting started.

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We strive to provide our customers with logistics solutions and smooth supply chains, and our investment in our coast-to-coast Canadian footprint underpins this. With operations in Vancouver, Surrey, Nanaimo and Prince Rupert, we are able to offer the fastest connections from Asia to North American markets. 

The strategic locations and the combined success of our West Coast Canada operations, in terms of ports and logistics, make it a compelling proposition, and underscore the opportunities for importers and exporters across the region. With supply chains around the world under pressure, there’s increasing demand for alternatives to traditional US ports.

New opportunities have opened up as DP World’s investment in Canada has increased. This is evident all along the West Coast, including in Vancouver’s expanded port, which was already rich with partnerships. Revolutionising and investing in West Coast Canada in this way has turned it into a high-value proposition that US importers are embracing as an alternative to legacy ports in their home country.