Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility

We are building a new container examination facility on Tsawwassen First Nation industrial lands to facilitate the growth of Canadian trade, ensure the efficient movement of container traffic at Roberts Bank, and meet Canada Border Services Agency inspection targets.

The Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility will augment the existing facility in Burnaby and will initiate the new Canada Border Services Agency marine container examination process focusing on technology (scans) and less on manual inspections.

About the project

The project supports our vision of a sustainable port, and in particular our commitment to climate action, by eliminating a significant volume of existing and projected truck traffic from Roberts Bank to the existing inspection facility in Burnaby. Elimination of this traffic will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 2,000 tonnes per year, and will also improve supply chain efficiency.

The project also furthers our commitment to Aboriginal relationships, and provides opportunities for Aboriginal businesses. The retention of the Tsawwassen First Nation Construction/Matcon Civil Joint Venture for the delivery of site preparation work, Tsawwassen First Nation Construction/Wales McLelland Construction Joint Venture for the facility and building construction as well as the selection of the Tsawwassen First Nation industrial lands as the project site are in keeping with this commitment.

TCEF location map

Key elements:

  • Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility is located on a 4.5 ha (11.4 acre) site within Tsawwassen First Nation industrial lands. It is adjacent to the 41B Street overpass, providing excellent access to Deltaport Way, and is about 5 kilometres from Deltaport Terminal.
  • The facility will be a dual purpose complex, which will be used by the Canada Border Services Agency for the inspection of shipping containers imported through the Deltaport Terminal and as a general purpose warehouse facility.
  • The building size is about 10,500 m² with the Canada Border Services Agency occupying half of the space. The remaining space will be occupied by a Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility service operator, which will allow the operator to also operate a separate commercial space.
  • The project includes construction of a storage/parking area of approximately 8.5 acres.

Project status

The facility is now substantially complete.  Once the operator completes outfitting the facility, it will be operational. This is expected to be in early 2019.

Tidewater Container Services Inc. (Tidewater) and Harbour Link Container Services Inc. (Harbour Link) have been selected as the operator and the drayage provider for the facility, respectively. Harbour Link will assist CBSA in conducting thorough examinations of containerized goods. Tidewater is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harbour Link. Harbour Link provides container drayage and off-dock container terminal services to all sectors of the container shipping community and currently operates a sufferance terminal in Delta, British Columbia.


The Container Examination Facility July 2018


March 10, 2016 – Backgrounder: Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility [PDF]
March 31, 2015 – FAQ: Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility [PDF]