The first two months of 2009 saw a 25 per cent decline in the number of containers that passed through the Port Metro Vancouver Terminals, a reduction that translated into 89,000 units less units than last year at this time.
The figures to the end of February outline the nature of the world economic slowdown, which has seen a reduction of goods transiting from Asia to North America as the economic situation deteriorated.
The steep drop for the first two months of this year was a reversal of over a decade of growth for the Vancouver port and an indication as to just how hard the economic situation can hit North Americas transportation grid. As worrisome as the numbers in Vancouver might be, they were still better than the numbers posted by the ports of the West coast of the USA, ports in Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Portland and Seattle/Tacoma are reporting drops in traffic of up to 30 percent so far in 2009.
Vancouver port officials expect the situation to rebound through the year, with roughly a ten percent drop in traffic expected over the course of the entire year.
The Vancouver Sun provided some background on the drop in container traffic in Vancouver, including a short line outlining that the Port of Prince Rupert had yet to release its figures for the throughput at Fairview Port for the first three months of 2009.