Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Secretive Asia-Pacific Gateway...all about China



STRATEGIC PLAN 2007/08–2009/10

February 2007

A new world order is upon us. It will be dominated by trade with China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, India and South Korea. China’s economy has doubled in the last 10 years, and it has driven 30 per cent of the world’s growth in GDP in the last decade. China is now Canada’s second-largest trading partner.

British Columbia is Canada’s gateway to the Pacific and, with ports closer to China than those in the mainland U.S., British Columbia can become a North American centre for Asia-Pacific trade.

By 2020, container traffic with Asia is expected to increase by 300 per cent, and air passenger traffic is expected to double. Shipping from Asia to Prince Rupert saves 1,000 nautical miles of travel compared to shipping to Los Angeles.2

Moreover, British Columbia’s large Chinese community creates a strong cultural tie to potential trading partners within the CCP. This advantage, coupled with an open trading economy, a strong multicultural society and our reputation as a renowned tourism destination mean that B.C. is well positioned to build on our Asia-Pacific connections as the Asia-Pacific continues to modernize and grow.

But the world won’t wait for us. Every country in the world is competing against us for a larger piece of the Asian economic opportunity. We need to establish our Pacific leadership agenda. We need to expand Gateway infrastructure and build stronger relationships with Asia-Pacific nations through such initiatives as inter-modal transportation links, cultural exchange opportunities, and educational partnerships and — with the federal government — immigration and international commerce links.

British Columbia will develop its infrastructure for B.C. and for the West to provide the same types of opportunities that the St. Lawrence Seaway did for Ontario and eastern Canada 50 years ago. Government will push for a unified Pacific Port Authority to ensure co-ordinated trade through all B.C. ports. We will work with the Northwest to establish an integrated port plan for the millions of container shipments that will come from increased trade. We will also work to establish an inland port at Prince George to move air, sea, and land cargo through to Asian and North American markets in record time.

As we open our northern and interior ports, British Columbia will use Public Private Partnerships or "P3s" to build the new South Fraser perimeter truck bypass highway. Other important infrastructure projects like the Pitt River Bridge and the Port Mann Bridge will get resources to markets. The Kicking Horse Canyon project will open up Canada’s gateway to the Pacific. Investments in airports, roads and bridges and critical improvements along Highway 97 and the Trans-Canada highway will create further links to markets and people beyond British Columbia’s borders.

British Columbia will launch a new Pacific Coast collaborative with Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. Directly to the south of our province is the U.S. coastal region, with close to 50 million people. California alone has 36 million people and a GDP 50 per cent larger than Canada’s. The collaborative will provide an opportunity to work together on a range of issues, [including climate change, ocean health and the environment, clean energy, transportation infrastructure, cross-border investment in emerging technology clusters, and initiatives in wellness and active living.] 


$25 billion over 8 years to improve B.C. overseas trade

Premier says 17,000 additional jobs could be created by 2020

Gateway project

9 years agoVideo
B.C. pledged $700 million to improve transportation and increase trade with Asia 2:21

B.C. Premier Christy Clark released details of $25 billion public and private sector plan to expand trade with Asia by improving the province's transportation network.

Clark said that the spending is needed to increase trucking capacity on highways, rail capacity along existing rail corridors, air cargo movement, and both bulk and container terminal capacity at marine ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

"We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take advantage of the fastest growing economy in history," Premier Clark said in a press release.

Premier Christy Clark announces $25 billion is to be spent over the next eight years on road, rail and port expansions in B.C. (Mike Clarke/CBC)

"China is right at our doorstep — our ports are closer than anywhere else in North America. Our government is making sure we can get our goods to  market as efficiently and quickly as possible and this strategy is a huge part of that plan."

But the largest chunk of spending is targeted to the natural gas industry, with $18 billion planned to go towards private sector pipeline and plant investment.

Clark said that the new investment would create at least 17,000 additional jobs by 2020, and would serve the export markets' demand for coal, forest products, potash, grain, and minerals.

Clark said that since 2005 over $22 billion had been committed by the province and its "Pacific Gateway Alliance partners" to add capacity to B.C.'s international trade corridors.

She said that projects worth $12 billion have been completed, and $10 billion's worth of projects are still underway — including Highway 1 improvements between Kamloops and Alberta, Highway 1 and Port Mann Bridge improvements in the Lower Mainland, and the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

Key spending planned:

Province — $850 million

  • $700 million on highways to 2017
  • Up to $100 million in the Prince Rupert Road Rail Utility Corridor ($15 million already committed)
  • $50 million commitment (announced Fall 2011) to Deltaport terminal projects

Private — ~$23 billion

  • $18 billion in private sector pipeline and plant investment to support the development of the liquefied natural gas sector, consistent with the BC Liquefied Natural Gas Strategy.
  • $3.75 billion to increase container terminal capacity at B.C. ports
  • $700 million to develop additional potash terminal capacity
  • $300 million to $1.1 billion to expand coal terminal capacity in Vancouver and Prince Rupert
  • Up to $60 million to expand metal and mineral terminal capacity in Northwest B.C. and Vancouver.


  • $2.8 billion for rail, by CN and Canadian Pacific


  • A previous version of this story stated that the province of B.C. would be committing $3.8 billion to increase container terminal capacity at B.C. ports and $300 million to the Prince Rupert Road Rail Utility Corridor. The province is, in fact, contributing $50 million to increase capacity at B.C. ports, and up to $100 million to the Prince Rupert rail utility corridor; with the remaining funds in the previously reported totals coming from private sector investment.
    Oct 05, 2013 8:36 PM PT

Prince Rupert's Fairview Container Terminal opens for business

'Today, we are beginning to see investments and even greater opportunity as we open up trade corridors linking the growing Asian economies with North America through Canada's Pacific Gateway....' British Columbia Premier, the Hon Gordon Campbell, above right, with the Hon Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transport for BC.

'[Fairview Container Terminal] represents yet another step in building a world–class transportation system connecting North America to Asia' …..the Hon David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics


Barry Bartlett (right), manager Corporate Communications & Pubic Affairs, Prince Rupert Port Authority, briefs members of the mainland China media during a recent visit to the newly opened Fairview Container Terminal.


Radiation scanners at the Prince Rupert container terminal…The collaboration between the Canadian and United States border services to review manifests before containers are loaded in Asia and to collectively identify containers to be opened and examined in Prince Rupert means CN trains will only be slowed down to pass the rail cars through security scanners at the border before entering the US.


(From left) Maher President Joseph Curto, PRPA President Don Krusel and Maher Exec VP Sales & Marketing Frans van Riemsdyk, with the COSCO Antwerp at back.

Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal, the C$170 million terminal project with a design capacity of 500,000 TEUs, opened on 12 September and is creating a new high-speed, congestion-free trade corridor between Asia and North America.

Prince Rupert Port Authority President & CEO Don Krusel noted the convergence of the private-public partnership to finance and complete the first dedicated intermodal container terminal in North America on schedule and on budget. "Our timing couldn't have been better to bring on stream this high-performing container terminal to anchor a new express trade corridor. We will be able to offer both Chinese and North American shippers unparalleled reliability, efficiency and speed in moving their products through our port."

The terminal project has been funded by five partners:

  • Maher Terminals, $60 million, including the three super-post panamax cranes
  • Government of Canada: Western Economic Diversification Canada, $30 million
  • Province of British Columbia, $30 million
  • CN Rail, $25 million towards the terminal's rail-related infrastructure
  • Prince Rupert Port Authority, $25 million

First call

A decade after conceiving the vision for containerisation, and only two years from the start of construction to transform the Fairview Terminal from breakbulk to containers, the Port of Prince Rupert has welcomed its first container ship. The 5,400 TEU COSCO Antwerp sailed into Prince Rupert Harbour and berthed at the new Fairview Container Terminal on 30 October.

"The significance of the event goes well beyond opening a new chapter for Prince Rupert or even British Columbia," notes Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) Chair Dale MacLean. "When it touched the shores of North America at the Fairview Container Terminal, the Antwerp activated the first new transpacific trade corridor to be created on this continent in 100 years. The wave from this ripple effect will travel from Prince Rupert to the mid west and back again."

The new service is designed to offer shippers a new express gateway with reliability, speed and efficiency to move their merchandise between the North American mid west and Asia.

"We were in the enviable position of building, not only this state-of-the-art container terminal, but a high-efficiency express trade corridor virtually from the ground up," explains PRPA President & CEO Don Krusel. "The extremely exciting day for us has now arrived to put our new business model to the test and begin to realize the full economic benefits for Prince Rupert and along the northern transportation corridor that we have envisioned."

The containers, filled with a variety of merchandise for large eastern retailers, originated in the Chinese ports of Hong Kong, Yantian, Qingdao, Dalian and Xiamen as well as Yokohama, Japan. The port call is part of the CKYH Alliance's Pacific Northwest Butterfly South Loop service, of which COSCO is one of four shipping lines, that will see a container ship from a string of nine 5,400 TEU vessels make a weekly call to Prince Rupert.

"COSCO's vision is clear, it includes strong growth in trade between China and North America and given the facilities developed in Prince Rupert," says Dave Bedwell, Executive Vice President, Cosco Container Lines. "COSCO will be able to build on the advantages and become a long term supporter of the gateway in Prince Rupert."

At the Maher Terminal, the off-loaded containers were loaded onto Maher bombcarts, and driven through one of four Canada Border Service Agency's radiation portals before going to the intermodal yard less than 200 metres away for loading onto the rail cars. In the meantime, Maher's

17 reach stackers are offloading about 600 containers, many filled with paper products, that arrived on the CN train from the east and double stacking them on the terminal to be loaded onto the COSCO Antwerp.

"Unlike most terminals in North America, the Fairview Terminal is specifically designed for the efficient movement of containers between vessel and rail," explains Maher Terminals Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing Frans van Riemsdyk. "The terminal's on-dock rail operations maximizes efficiency and provides a favourable environmental impact when compared with terminals with larger concentrations of truck traffic and off-dock rail facilities"

After calls in Vancouver and Seattle, the Antwerp sailed back to Hong Kong to complete the butterfly service loop.

Pacific Gateway

"Fifty years ago, Canada opened up Atlantic trade to North America with investments in the St Lawrence Seaway. Today, we are beginning to see investments and even greater opportunity as we open up trade corridors linking the growing  Chinese economy with North America through Canada's Pacific Gateway," says British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. "The Port of Prince Rupert is the closest port to the fastest growing economies in the world. This single expansion will create thousands of jobs in this region alone, and shift the focus of North American economies to the Pacific. I want to thank all the partners involved in this project for showing tremendous leadership and vision for our province and all of Canada."

Campbell says the Province's $30-million financial contribution to Phase 1 and support for the overall terminal project reflects its commitment to the Pacific Gateway's northern corridor and achieving two million TEUs in container traffic by 2011.

"This new terminal represents yet another step in building a world–class transportation system connecting North America to Asia," says the Hon David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. "It will open extraordinary opportunities for Canadian business at home and abroad."

CN, the only railroad which crosses the continent east-west and north-south, serving ports on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts linking customers to all three NAFTA nations, provides multimodal freight transport to the Port of Prince Rupert.

CN President Hunter Harrison—the railway owns and operates the northern mainline from Prince Rupert to Winnipeg–says CN appreciated the unique opportunity to work with the Port of Prince Rupert and Maher Terminals to design and construct the terminal from the ground up.

"We strongly believed in the Port of Prince Rupert's vision from the outset and, as a result of our partnership and involvement in the terminal planning process, CN's congestion-free mainline is integrated seamlessly into an ultra-modern, high-capacity container facility. This new injection of meaningful port-rail-terminal capacity into the global supply chain will offer shippers the fastest, most efficient and most cost-effective routing for Asian traffic destined to and from the interior of North America."

CN is also investing heavily in its western Canadian network, which will benefit the entire Pacific gateway, adds Harrison. These improvements include upgrades to its rail traffic control system west of Prince George and extended sidings that will result in a double track system from Prince Rupert to Memphis with the capacity to handle the four million TEUs that the Port of Prince Rupert is projecting to handle by 2015. CN has upgraded tunnel and bridge, built new intermodal terminals in Prince George and Edmonton and acquired 50 new state-of-the-art locomotives specifically to serve Prince Rupert.

CN is positioned to provide shippers with a seamless door-to-door transportation solution and ensure the safe and secure flow of goods throughout the North American continent with precision execution. Containers are loaded to railcars immediately after discharge and are expedited to a network of eastern destinations including Chicago Memphis, Toronto and Montreal. This new express route to mid-continental North America will assist manufactures and retailers to lower inventory costs and improve their overall supply chain economics.

The collaboration between the Canadian and United States border services to review manifests before containers are loaded in Asia and to collectively identify containers to be opened and examined in Prince Rupert means CN trains will only be slowed down to pass the rail cars through security scanners at the border before entering the US.

Maher Terminals believed the Port of Prince Rupert could become a major cargo gateway for North America when, despite its remoteness, the New Jersey-based operator successfully bid on a 30-year lease in 2001 to establish its first terminal on the West Coast.

"We were aware of the skepticism because the conventional port model is to build near large concentrated urban areas and not in isolated areas with no local markets," explains Brian Maher. "But our family has been in the terminal operations business long enough to know a good thing when we see it. With West Coast ports already congested and grappling with an ever increasing flow of Asian trade, we saw one of the deepest harbours in North America with no congestion, two to three days closer to Asia than any other West Coast ports and one of the best rail lines on the continent with plenty of capacity."

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