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Centerm Expansion Project complete, increasing Port of Vancouver container capacity

February 21, 2023

Expanded container terminal at Port of Vancouver will support Canada’s growing trade and strengthen supply chains  

Vancouver, B.C.: Construction on the Centerm Expansion Project at the Port of Vancouver is now complete, as the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority continues to partner with industry and government to deliver the sustainable infrastructure needed to support growing trade and stronger national supply chains. 

The expansion project—delivered in partnership with terminal operator DP World—focused on innovative ways to make best use of the limited trade-enabling industrial land available and allow Centerm to handle 60% more containers by increasing the terminal footprint by 15%. Work completed includes expanding the terminal footprint to the west and east, reconfiguring and expanding the container yard, building state-of-art truck gates, expanding the intermodal yard, building a new operations facility, and marine habitat improvements.  

“We’re incredibly proud of our work leading this award-winning terminal expansion, which adds to our proven track record of delivering top-tier sustainable infrastructure to support Canada’s growing trade,” said Cliff Stewart, vice president of infrastructure at the port authority, the federal agency mandated to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver. “The expanded Centerm terminal is an important addition to the Port of Vancouver as we continue to work to deliver the container capacity Canadians and Canadian businesses need to thrive now and into the future.”  

While construction of the terminal improvements is complete, work is ongoing to optimize operations to deliver the full capacity increase at Centerm. The full capacity gains are expected to be realized later this year, increasing the terminal’s container handling capacity by two-thirds from 900,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) to 1.5 million TEUs. 

“The completion of the Centerm Expansion Project marks a new chapter in the 100-year history of our DP World operations in Vancouver,” said Maksim Mihic, chief executive and general manager, DP World (Canada) Inc. “By using new technologies and reconfiguring the terminal–we have been able to increase throughput capacity by 60% with only a 15% increase in the terminal footprint. This project is a great example of how we are innovating to create the sustainable trade infrastructure of tomorrow. We are providing access to new market opportunities for Canadian businesses while making the global supply chain more resilient. I want to thank everyone involved in this project who worked tirelessly to get us to today.” 

With Canada’s container trade on a long-term growth trajectory, the Centerm terminal expansion will play an important role meeting demand in the short-term.  

In line with its public interest mandate, the port authority is leading several projects to enable Canada’s growing trade through the Port of Vancouver well into the future. This includes: 

  • Partnering with industry and government on projects to reduce bottlenecks and enhance road and rail links to the port while delivering community benefits 
  • Leading digitization and optimization initiatives to help drive efficiency and capacity across the port, including the Active Vessel Traffic Management and West Coast Supply Chain Visibility programs 
  • Planning to support Canada’s forecast growth in container trade and long-term needs via the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project  

Canada’s west coast marine container terminals are forecast to hit capacity by the mid- to late-2020s, following a decade of 5% average annual growth from 2011 to 2021.  

“Trade through the Port of Vancouver is growing and we’re working to ensure infrastructure projects are designed and delivered in a way that protects the environment and benefits local communities while enhancing the safe movement of cargo through the region,” said Stewart.  

On the Centerm Expansion Project, this includes environmental protections such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating wait times for vehicles at train crossings, adding capacity for container ships to connect to electrical shore power, upgrading some yard cranes from diesel to electric, and building to LEED and Envision certification sustainability standards.  

In 2022, the project was awarded the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Envision Platinum award, their highest rated award. The project also improved local habitat through offsetting projects such as the award-winning Maplewood Marine Restoration Project, which restored approximately five hectares of low-value marine habitat into higher-value intertidal flat, eelgrass and rock reef habitat.  

Public consultation on the project was based on two-way communication and open dialogue with stakeholders, the public and Indigenous groups during planning and construction. As part of the port authority’s community investment for the project, a $500,000 Centerm Community Fund was developed to help thank the local community for its patience during construction. The fund was part of a $2 million contribution to community initiatives in East Vancouver from the port authority and Centerm terminal operator DP World, and was distributed between 2019 and 2021 to 41 organizations working to enrich the lives of those living and working in the area as well as supporting local conservation efforts. 

The Centerm Expansion Project is one example of how the port authority is working to ensure the Port of Vancouver can support Canada’s growing trade. Learn more about it and other work being done in collaboration with industry and government to support trade through the gateway at 

Media contact 

Alex Munro 
Media relations advisor 
[email protected] 

About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Port of Vancouver   

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is the federal agency responsible for the stewardship of the Port of Vancouver. Like all Canada Port Authorities, we are accountable to the federal minister of transport, and operate pursuant to the Canada Marine Act with a mandate to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver, while protecting the environment and considering local communities. The port authority is structured as a non-share corporation, is financially self-sufficient and does not rely on tax dollars for operations. Our revenues come from port terminals and tenants who lease port lands, and from port users who pay various fees such as harbour dues. Profits are reinvested in port infrastructure. The port authority has control over the use of port land and water, which includes more than 16,000 hectares of water, over 1,500 hectares of land, and approximately 350 kilometres of shoreline. Located on the southwest coast of British Columbia in Canada, the Port of Vancouver extends from Roberts Bank and the Fraser River up to and including Burrard Inlet, bordering 16 municipalities and intersecting the traditional territories and treaty lands of several Coast Salish First Nations. The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, and the third largest in North America by tonnes of cargo. Enabling the trade of approximately $240 billion in goods with more than 170 world economies, port activities sustain 115,300 jobs, $7 billion in wages, and $11.9 billion in GDP across Canada. 

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