Thursday, January 28, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Wednesday, January 27, 2010)

More background on the Ports latest report, the city cuts back on more community group funding and the latest tales of crime from the files of the RCMP, some of the items of note for Wednesday.

Daily News, front page, headline story
PRINCE RUPERT PORT REACHES 12-YEAR HIGH CARGO VOLUME IN 2009 -- The Daily joins in on the positive reviews of the Port of Prince Rupert's throughput report for 2009, as we outlined on the blog yesterday, the Port has continued to see growth in shipments through the Fairview terminal while other ports on the North American west coast continue to find reduced numbers due to the ongoing recession.

Local crab association members find some support from Regional District on their wishes when it comes to the implementation of a Pacific North Coast Integrated management Area.

The flash mob event of Saturday put on by members of the Grade Nine/Ten Drama class at PRSS gains more recognition as the Daily recounts the string of performances that took place around the downtown area on Saturday morning. Our Podunkian portal featured details of the event yesterday, including video footage of the event as it traveled through the downtown core.

The regular report on the City Council voting patterns is provided on page three, highlighting a few of the motions tackled by council at their Monday meeting.

The Sports section features a look at Midget A Hockey and keeps readers up to date on the progress of the CIHL playoffs, of which the Prince Rupert Rampage were eliminated from on the weekend.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January 27, 2010)

The Northern View
City of Prince Rupert cuts grants to community groups by 25 per cent -- More cuts for community groups as the City of Prince Rupert announces a string of budget reductions of 25 per cent for a number of local groups around the city. (see article here)

The Northern View
Man hospitalized after two on one assault -- Details of the weekly crime report from the Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Lekstrom Insists Power Line a Go -- The signs seem to indicate that the Northern Transmission Line project is but a few weeks away from officially getting a launch, CFTK has a bit of background on where the project is at the moment and how its set to progress (see article here)

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
The return of local content on the CBC website continues to experience delays as technical woes appear to be continuing. The CBC has once again revised their start up date for the new service, advising that the site will launch "shortly".

Daily News, front page, headline story
Prince Rupert port reaches 12-year high cargo volume in 2009
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prince Rupert’s container terminal continues to show itself as the immovable object against the unstoppable force of economic recession.

In its year-end report, the Prince Rupert Port Authority continued to a see an increase in business in 2009, even when other ports were lagging behind the world export markets.

Maher Terminals, the operators out on the Fairview Container Terminal, moved 265,259 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in 2009 – which is a 45.9 per cent increase over 2008 - despite the global economic downturn that has resulted in declining container traffic through other North American west coast ports.
PRPA president and CEO Don Krusel was very pleased with the results.

“We are confident that the Port of Prince Rupert and our partners, including CN, Maher Terminals, longshore workers and the shipping lines, have demonstrated the competitive advantages of the Port of Prince Rupert as a gateway for transpacific container trade,” said Krusel in a release.

“Our continued growth reflects the increasing confidence and satisfaction of our customers with the quality of service they are receiving through the Prince Rupert Gateway.”

In what was a topsy-turvy year for Prince Rupert Grain Inc. the company’s volumes increased by 35.1 per cent, to 5,080,834 tonnes - the terminal’s highest throughput since 1994.

The numbers came in after the sudden departure of long time PRG president Jeff Burghardt.

Ridley Terminals Inc. experienced a surge in coal volumes in the second half of 2009, following a weak first half, to push total traffic to 4,159,679 tonnes. This was down 14.2 per cent for the year compared to 2008.

While overall metallurgical and thermal coal volumes declined 30.9 per cent due to weak global demand, this was significantly offset by strong increases in coking coal (110.5 per cent), petroleum coke (46.4 per cent) and wood pellets (108.7 per cent).

The Port of Prince Rupert also experienced increased cargo volumes for logs (79.6 per cent) and wax (30.8 per cent).

In the cruise business, passenger traffic was down 46.8 per cent as a result of the loss of a weekly cruise vessel port of call in 2009. Prince Rupert welcomed 55,097 guests from 31 cruise vessel visits last year, compared to 103,630 on 63 ships in 2008, the port’s best year since becoming an Alaska cruise port of call in 2004.
Despite this decline in cruise ship traffic, Prince Rupert continues to improve its cruise tourism capabilities to support future growth of the sector.

Looking ahead in 2010, Krusel said the port remains focused on growing container volumes and furthering the progress of the Phase 2 expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal.

A second priority is the development of the Ridley Industrial Park to accommodate new terminal and logistic services development to support the expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert.

“We have not only created a new trade corridor for trans-pacific container trade, but also have drawn the attention of the shipping world and opened the door to a multitude of new investment and development opportunities.”

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