Gateway Port Initiative

In 2007 The Government of Canada and Province of BC agreed to work cooperatively to develop an efficient, reliable, multi-model transportation network that would connect Asia with North American economic heartlands to the benefit of both BC and Canada. This agreement was created within the context of the rapidly changing and interconnected global supply chain. In order to capitalize in the increasing trade with North America’s Asian trading partners Canada and BC requires investments in its transportation infrastructure. This agreement and the resultant investments are already improving Canada’s competitiveness as both a destination for imports and shipping point of exports.
Currently, BC has two designated “Gateway” ports. They are Port Metro Vancouver and Prince Rupert Port Authority. In order to achieve this status a port must be participating in volumes of trade deemed to be at a level of national significance. The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA), on its own, does not currently handle the volume or diversity of cargoes that sum to nationally significant volumes. However, PAPA is engaged in conversations to promote itself as a port that has the capacity to support the Gateway initiative if certain investments are made in its own and regional shipping infrastructure. For example, strategic investments in rail and roadways - particularly linking PAPA with Nanaimo Port Authority – can lead to relieving bottlenecks at Port Metro Vancouver’s terminals; especially when opportunities in short sea shipping and break bulk cargo are leveraged. Moreover, as continuity of trade is also viewed as a significant national security priority the development of ports, such as PAPA, to support Gateway shipping in the event an emergency is also critical.
Port Alberni is a geographically and strategically located relative to other Vancouver Island, British Columbia and North American ports as trade to Asian destinations increases and diversifies. Over the past two years shipments from PAPA were destined to 22 different ports in China, Japan and South Korea. Demand for Canadian commodities in Asian markets is projected to continue to increase. As these resources are extracted and processed for export investments in ports to support the goals of the Gateway initiative will be critical. PAPA is working to achieve these investments in the best interests of Port Alberni, British Columbia and Canada.