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COUNTRY REPORTCANADA


Ltd’s CAD50 million (USD38.9 million) grain-export terminal and Parrish & Heimbecker’s new CAD45 million (USD35 million) flour mill, the first new flour mill built in Ontario in 75 years.” While those are not project cargo facilities, they did require inbound moves of specialised components.


“The port authority reinvests in port infrastructure,” said Hamilton. “In 2017 that totalled more than CAD10 million (USD7.7 million) in new rail capacity, utility upgrades and energy efficiency improvements. A major project for 2018 is the replacement of a key dockwall at the port’s Pier 12. One challenge has become a shortage of space for new tenant operations. The port now has a focus on acquiring new logistics space.”


Major ports


The port of Thunder Bay, Ontario, is the westernmost port in Canada on the Great Lakes, and does a brisk business in project cargo. It’s main rival is the port of Duluth, located south of the border in Minnesota, USA.


Acknowledging a healthy and respectful competition with Duluth, Tim Heney, ceo of the Thunder Bay Port Authority, stated: “We have greater clearances. We also have advantages in regulation and exchange rates. Thunder Bay is the simple, one-stop way into the country. The security regime [in the USA] has become quite onerous.” Thunder Bay is a hybrid port that operates some of its own terminals, and also leases space to stevedoring companies. It has a Liebherr 320 crane with a lifting capacity of 104 tonnes. For heavier moves, the port relies upon shipboard cranes, or one of the 400-ton (362.9-tonne) capacity floating cranes in the western lake. “Wind turbines come in waves,” said


Heney. “We have handled a lot of those for Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. There is a new uptick starting. Last year we saw a modular hotel come through on its way to Calgary. There are also pressure vessels for oil and gas, but also for the potash industry. Similarly, we see conveyors for both of those industries.” Having built a reputation for project cargo handling, Thunder Bay is actively reinvesting in its facilities. “We have a general cargo terminal that we are reconfiguring to handle more project cargo with more laydown space and reconfigured rail access especially for wind turbines. The newest ones are up to 250 ft (76.2 m) long and come in segments.” The port of Vancouver, British Columbia,


www.heavyliftpfi.com


Thunder Bay, Ontario, is the westernmost port in Canada on the Great Lakes, and does a brisk business in project cargo.


has a split personality: the city of Vancouver itself is the third largest in Canada and has a booming economy in business, finance, technology and tourism. It is a major port of call for cruiseships, with a liner terminal at the heart of downtown. But the port is also a major commodity handler, notably lumber and wood products, as well as sulphur and other bulk materials. Project cargo is in the mix, notably via Fraser Surrey Docks, on the Fraser River south of the city. “As marine terminals in Canada handling project cargo, Fraser Surrey Docks and the other local terminals do face challenges from competition in Houston and the Pacific North West that are able to present options to shippers for importing project cargo destined for Canadian sites,” said Brady Erno, senior manager of sales and marketing


We have also seen some projects being deferred in recent years, but we are optimistic that 2018 will continue to recover and see these projects come back online. – Brady Erno, Fraser Surrey Docks


for Fraser Surrey Docks. “Although there are inland routes in British Columbia and Alberta for project cargoes heading to sites in the interior of those provinces, many shippers will choose to discharge their project cargoes in the USA and transport them to Canada via truck or rail,” Erno added.


US competition “We continue to develop and market the British Columbia project cargo routes in cooperation with our local partners, but competition from the USA is a challenge for us. We have also seen some projects being deferred in recent years, but we are optimistic that 2018 will continue to recover and see these projects come back online.” Erno said his facility is “seeing growing interest and enquiries regarding project cargo so far in 2018, which is a good sign compared with the past two or three years where we have seen a reduced number of actual shipments and projects being deferred. “Our terminal has not added any additional lifting capacity or equipment for project cargo last year or this year, but many of our local partners have invested in heavy lift cranes and heavy haul trailers for handling project cargo.”


May/June 2018


HLPFI 87


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