The challenges of shipping through the Port of Vancouver in 2021 are highlighted in a new report ranking the performance of 370 container shipping ports around the world.
Vancouver was ranked 368th — only better than its West Coast rivals in Long Beach and Los Angeles — in the 2021 Container Port Performance Index (CPPI), published last week by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Prince Rupert was slightly higher, at 344th overall.
The index is mainly based on the total port hours per ship call — the amount of time that elapses from when a ship reaches port limits to when it departs from the berth having completed its cargo exchange.
“The CPPI is intended to serve as a reference point for key stakeholders in the global economy, including national governments, port authorities and operators, development agencies, supranational organizations, various maritime interests, and other public and private stakeholders engaged in trade, logistic, and supply chain services,” say the authors.
The report underlines how North American ports, especially those on the West Coast, have struggled mightily with increased imports from Asia. The Port of Vancouver also suffered from major outages on the railways that connect the port to the rest of Canada, as wildfires and flooding in B.C. restricted or shut down movement to and from Vancouver.
Shipments of grains (even with smaller, drought-affected production), farm machinery, and other Canadian agricultural exports have been affected by the delays.
On the East Coast, the Port of Halifax had a much better year, ranking 46th overall. Saint John placed 240th, while Montreal — which experienced a strike by port workers last summer — was ranked 311th.
Ports in the Middle East led the world in container ship efficiency. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Port topped the 2021 rankings, with Port Salalah in Oman, Hamad Port in Qatar and Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi also finishing in the top five.
Three of China’s largest ports — Shanghai (Yangshan), Ningbo, and Guangzhou — also finished in the top 10.