The Port of Halifax is now on the Pacific Rim. This story in the Globe and Mail shows how the increased use of the Suez Canal by Chinese container traffic has boosted traffic in the port.
AIMS has written extensively on how capacity issues for the Panama Canal and for west coast ports is driving container traffic from Asia through the Suez Canal to North America. Such an increase in traffic can be a boom for Atlantica (click here to read more).
The Globe and Mail turned to AIMS for comment on this twist in geography as Peter Moreira wrote about the increase in port traffic.
Though bullish about prospects of the Suez Canal, Brian Lee Crowley, president of the Halifax based think-tank Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, said the main threat to the Port of Halifax’s growth is what happens to the containers once unloaded. Shippers prefer ports to be served by two rail lines, but Halifax is served only by CN Radio. Shippers also like at least 30 per cent of a port’s cargo to be distributed locally, but more than 80 per cent of th containers that come into Halifax leave Atlantic Canada.
“Halifax faces very significant challenges on the infrastructure side, though they’re not insurmountable.” Mr. Crowley said.
Traffic to the Port of Halifax is expected to hit about 550,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) this year and 585,000 TEUs in 2006.