Container Capacity Improvement Program

In 2015, container terminals on the west coast of Canada (including Vancouver and Prince Rupert) handled more than 3.8 million TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent unit containers, with nearly 3.1 million TEUs handled by container terminals in the Port of Vancouver.

Independent forecasts completed for the port authority by international experts in transportation and trade indicate that container traffic through the west coast of Canada will increase by approximately 3.5 million TEUs by 2035. This growth is driven primarily by the growing demand between Canada and Asian markets for imported products such as clothing, food, electronics and manufacturing inputs, such as car parts, and exports of Canadian products such as pulp, paper, lumber and specialty grains.

Container Capacity Improvement Program

The Container Capacity Improvement Program is our long-term strategy to provide container terminal capacity to meet the future needs of Canadian trade. As a port authority, we are mandated to ensure that terminal capacity is available to meet Canada’s trade needs.

The program was established in 2010 to examine three opportunities:

  • increase the capacity and efficiency of existing container terminals
  • convert existing under-utilized terminals to handle containers
  • build a new terminal

As part of the program, we are currently making improvements at Deltaport in Delta.

However, even with these improvements, and capacity increases planned for the Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert, Canada’s west coast will still require additional container capacity by the mid-2020s. To meet this demand, we are proposing to increase container capacity at Centerm in Vancouver and build the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project in Delta.

Current projects

As noted above, the program currently includes three projects, at various stages of development. Click on the links below to learn more about each project.

Project Type of improvement Capacity increase (TEUs) Anticipated completion
Deltaport Terminal, Road and Rail Improvement Project Improvements to existing container terminal 600,000 2017
Centerm Expansion Project Improvements to existing container terminal 600,000 2020
Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project Proposed new container terminal 2,400,000 2024


November 2016 – Field Studies Information Sheet: Container Capacity Improvement Program [PDF]
August 2016 – Container Traffic Forecast Study: Ocean Shipping Consultants [PDF]
March 2016 – Update: Container Capacity Improvement Program [PDF]