Port Saint John, one of the major ports in the Atlantic Gateway – only an hour from the border and the US Northeast, has made great strides over the past two years with a resurgence of port activity and the attraction of some of the world’s top container shipping lines including Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Tropical Shipping.
Due to both of these developments, more than 350 ports worldwide are now accessible through Port Saint John on a weekly basis.
“Our container traffic has almost doubled since 2012,” says Jim Quinn, President and CEO of Port Saint John. “To continue competing and growing on the world stage a terminal upgrade is required to accommodate larger vessels and to have the handling capability required to service modern fleets.”
Port Saint John announced earlier this month it has submitted a $205 million application to the Federal Government’s Building Canada Fund, National Infrastructure Component to modernize its container infrastructure on the west side of the Port over the next seven years. The proposed project is a planned three-way partnership with the Federal Government, Port Saint John, and the Provincial Government over a seven-year period.
“We all have been working hard with stakeholders, our province and our local MP Rodney Weston to get the port back on the map,” says Quinn. “We have doubled our container traffic, going from an average of 45,000 TEU’s in the past decade to almost 90,000 TEU’s in 2014, with projections to be over 100,000 TEU’s in 2015. We also know that US ports are becoming more and more congested. Shippers and receivers are looking for Eastern options and with this upgrade we think Port Saint John and New Brunswick can be the solution.”
Activity from container growth alone will double direct and indirect jobs across the region from 500 to more than 1,000. During the seven-year construction phase of the project, there will be more than 1,400 person years of direct and indirect jobs created. (These numbers do not include economic spin-off growth, only the numbers as they relate directly to increased container traffic, design and construction.)
“We believe the future growth of our province is dependent on a modern and efficient port that will provide New Brunswick companies with competitive exporting and importing facilities. We also believe there has never been a better time for Saint John and New Brunswick to capitalize on our natural strengths and proximity to world markets,” added Peter Gaulton, Chair of the Board for Port Saint John.