Goods movement

Moving goods through the port

Have you ever wondered what’s in all the ships that move in and out of the Port of Vancouver? Some carry shipping containers, which are filled with everything from clothes and electronics to grain and produce. Others move liquid cargoes like canola oil, chemicals and fuels, or items such as lumber products, machinery, automobiles, and cruise passengers. In fact, our port handles the most diversified cargo of any port in North America.

Who decides what moves through the port?

It’s the federal government that decides what can and cannot be traded through Canadian ports, including anything that may be deemed as “dangerous goods” under the Canada Shipping Act and under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.

Though we as a Canada Port Authority don’t decide what can be imported and exported at the port, we have a mandate to ensure goods are moving through the Port of Vancouver safely and efficiently, while also protecting the environment and considering local communities. We do this by:

  • Promoting safe and efficient navigation within port waters through our Port Information Guide
  • Requiring that shippers provide us and Transport Canada with a minimum of 48 hours advance notice before entering the port with dangerous cargoes
  • Monitoring port lands and waters 24 hours a day, seven days a week through our operations centre, and responding to any activities or concerns through our harbour patrol officers and security teams