August 2020 — Taking an aggressive approach towards diversification, utilizing Nanaimo’s deep sea shipping terminals coupled with cost-efficient short sea shipping links to Vancouver, the Port of Nanaimo is focused on the future. Ian Marr, President & CEO, noted that work is continuing on the development of the Port’s Duke Point property for containers and breakbulk, while the auto import terminal and vehicle processing center at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharves is now operational with partners Western Stevedoring and the British Columbia Vehicle Processing Center.

Jason Michell, VP Business Development adds: “Our main focus currently is the completion of the $100-million Duke Point Terminal expansion project with our partners, DP World and Transport Canada through the National Trade Corridor Fund.  The planned upgrades would nearly double the length of the berth, and double upland paved capacity, giving us the opportunity to provide container vessel servicing while improving short sea and breakbulk vessel operations.”

“The 2019 fiscal year demonstrated that the Port of Nanaimo’s diversification strategy has had a successful impact on the financial numbers, making it second only to 2018 in terms of gross revenues,” wrote Marr in the Port of Nanaimo 2019 Annual Report. Indeed, as part of that strategy, the introduction of the BC Vehicle Processing Center in early 2019 has proven to be a great addition to port activities.

Despite the loss of the 2020 cruise season that would have welcomed seven visits to Nanaimo’s world-class Welcome Centre, Michell and his team are making progress with community and industry partners investing in a new website and videos highlighting how Nanaimo and the Central Island provide unique, immersive experiences for passengers. “We are well positioned to welcome the industry back to Nanaimo when everyone is ready,” Marr said,

Of considerable importance is the recently renewed commitment to work closely with the City of Nanaimo by formalizing a new Protocol agreement. The agreement establishes “an effective and collaborative relationship between the parties and a process and understandings that will advance shared opportunities, agreements and mutual benefits.  Additionally, the City of Nanaimo invited the Port to sit on the Nanaimo Economic Development Task Force, further complimenting the value of the opportunities presented to the community through the maritime industry.  On this note, Marr adds “Duke Point has great potential to become a warehousing, distribution, and manufacturing hub in the Gateway given the industrial land availability and central location.”