Port Alberni Transshipment Hub (PATH)

Port Alberni Transshipment Hub

Port Alberni Transshipment Hub (PATH) project is great for Vancouver as it would remove all ships from Vancouver harbour would be free of eyesores, plus the land in the port of downtown in the city. Clean of docks and cranes, ready to build to the seashore with a view of the mountains across the inlet. The solution is to move the container port to Port Alberni.

Port Alberni Transshipment Hub (PATH)

FINAL REPORT|Port Alberni Trans-Shipment Hub (PATH) Feasibility Study Executive Summary The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) has identified an opportunity to develop a container trans-shipment hub to serve markets on the Canadian West Coast, including along the Fraser River, along the North West United States (together the Pacific North West, or PNW), and from there, further inland, including the US Mid-West.

The project, referred to as the Port Alberni Trans-Shipment Hub (PATH), is premised on a hub-and-spoke container trans-shipment operation concept.The PATH concept envisages a terminal of 400 acres with an annual capacity of 3.5 million TEUs (hub). From PATH, coastal ports and terminals would primarily be served by feeder barge service (spokes). The PATH project could be operational by 2022.

This report informs a broader assessment of the overall feasibility of the PATH project.

The rationale for the PATH project is predicated primarily on the following:

  • The PATH facility could accommodate Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS) with capacities of over 10,000+ TEUs. Competing ports in the PNW, including Vancouver, Seattle and Tacoma, are also expected to be capable of handling ULCS swith future equipment investment, though the PATH facility could potentially be an early mover in accommodating ULCSs.
  • Automation of terminal activities, with crane capabilities of 40 to 45 container moves per hour as contemplated at PATH, can lead to significant productivity, efficiency and associated cost advantages relative to competing terminals in the PNW, which are currently not automated. Being the first automated terminal in the PNW could provide PATH with a relative advantage in receiving ULCSs, specifically, since these ships tend to call at terminals with efficient unloading/loading operations.
  • Port Alberni is closer to Asia compared to Vancouver, Seattle and Tacoma. The PATH concept could allow an efficient in and out to ocean ships in a single PNW call (full unload/load, for dedicated PNW services),avoiding the deviations and navigation time between ports to load and unload, and allowing the ocean ships to quickly make the trip back and forth to and from Asia. These advantages could potentially extent to ships sailing onward to Pacific South West (PSW) ports.
  • The feeder barge and/or short sea shipping (SSS) operations serving PATH could spread regional container handling capacity over a large number of coastal and inland terminals along the Fraser River and reducehinterlandcongestion, particularly by avoiding, reducing and spreading truck transportation (drayage) in the BC Lower Mainland.This could in turn go some way in mitigating negative externalities associated with congestion in the region.
  • The PATH project can also be viewed as a potentially lower cost option to investing in new container terminal capacity in BC’s Lower Mainland (at Robert’s Bank Terminal 2), or as a longer term option for increasing the capacity of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor, once new terminal capacity in the BC Lower Mainland becomes fully utilized.
  • The PATH facility could also provide greater resiliency for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor, by providing an additional facility capable of handling co

Report Link: Port Alberni Trans-Shipment Hub (PATH) Feasibility Study

Examination of Strategic & Business Requirements

Traffic Forecasts

Potential Logistics Cost Advantages

Economic Impacts and Other Benefits

Port Alberni Photo credit: alaskapine on VisualHunt / CC BY

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