In the fourth of the AIMS Atlantica papers, UNB Professor Michael Ircha iscusses the characteristics of “tomorrow’s successful port” and concludes that Atlantica’s ports are ideally situated to step into this role.


Dr. Ircha is a frequent international lecturer on ports and containerized port traffic and was named “Distinguished Transportation Professor” by the International Intermodal Expo in Atlanta. 

He explains that by 2015, Canadian ports will need to handle a minimum throughput of about 6.3 million TEUs*, as compared to some 3.6 TEUs in 2004. The actual demand might be higher, as some US ports might not be able to expand their container-handling facilities to serve the coming generation of mega container ships.

On the other hand, Atlantica ports have the water depths needed to handle the mega ships. Dr. Ircha writes, “Capacity constraints in US and Canadian west coast ports have caused Asian shipping lines to re-orient their trade through the Suez and Mediterranean to the East Coast. This shift provides opportunities for Canadian East Coast ports to capture some of the forecast growth in container trade.”

Canadian container ports that are able to build the necessary infrastructure and maintain competitive rates and tariffs to go along with the natural advantages of their location have an opportunity to be key players in the development of the North American economy.

To read this paper, click here.

* A TEU or twenty-foot equivalent unit is a measure of containerized cargo equal to one standard 20 foot by eight foot by 8_ foot container.