Port Saint John says 2022 will bring container volumes not seen in decades

·2 min read

Port Saint John is expecting container volumes this year not seen since the early 1970s, according to the port's chief operating officer, Andrew Dixon.

Dixon says the new infrastructure on the west side of the harbour is one of the driving factors behind the growth the port is seeing in recent months.

The project will be complete by the end of the first quarter of next year, he said.

Dixon said the "congestion" created by supply chain issues around the world has meant rail and shipping lines, ports, and small and large shippers are looking for new and improved ways of doing things.

"We anticipated this growth, but to see it come to fruition is fantastic," Dixon said. "And the volume of container throughput that we'll see this year is actually greater than we've ever seen."

Strengthening operations

Last month, DP World announced it was improving operations at the Saint John container terminal. It was reported that cargo volumes have been steadily increasing and more growth was expected.

On Thursday, Dixon told CBC News the port's partnership with DP World and CP Rail is also driving growth.

The port is on a "hiring binge" at the moment, both at the terminal and at the port authority, said Dixon.

"It's a very exciting time. And it's going to mean a lot of jobs and prosperity and relevance for the community, for the workforce. And we're all just very enthused, excited about it."

Coming through the port 

Dixon said commodities leave Saint john for a wide range of destinations.

"If it can fit inside a container, it can go by container," he said. "So it's everything from foodstuffs to machinery to forest products to to household goods, you name it. It's coming through the port.".

The port also exports potash from Saskatchewan, mostly headed to South American countries such as Brazil, said Dixon.

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