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.

Site preparation work has been completed. A building permit has been issued by Tsawwassen First Nation. Construction of the facility started in October 2016.

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 proposed building size is about 10,500 m² with the Canada Border Services Agency occupying half of the space. It is proposed that the remaining space 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 concrete tilt-up panel structure for the shell building was completed in the summer of 2017 with the steel structure supporting the roof, mezzanine floors and roofing installation completed at the end of 2017. Construction of the building interior as well as site services are ongoing.

The construction contract for the Tsawwassen First Nation lift station on 28b Avenue in Delta was awarded to Tsawwassen First Nation Construction/Matcon Civil Joint Venture in July 2017. Construction of the lift station and access road started in August 2017, with preload placed during the same month. The lift station is currently under construction and is expected to be complete by July 2018. All permits have now been issued.

The Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility is scheduled for substantial completion in May 2018. The facility is expected to be fully operational by July 2018, once the lift station is complete.

Exterior view of the Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility main building (southwest corner)
Construction ongoing in the building interior


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