News

Anchored ships awaiting berths in backlogged port of Vancouver

Two ships anchor in Stuart Channel off Chemainus — part of a number believed to be awaiting berths in a crowded port of Vancouver. - Matthew Peterson
Two ships anchor in Stuart Channel off Chemainus — part of a number believed to be awaiting berths in a crowded port of Vancouver.
— image credit: Matthew Peterson

Large cargo ships off the coast of Chemainus are again raising a few eyebrows.

But unlike the ship under scrutiny during January’s uranium clean-up operation, this time the motivation is apparently economic, not safety.

About four to five ships (depending on the day) have regularly been anchored in the waters of Stuart Channel in recent weeks.

On Friday, March 18, a ship-tracking website listed some of the ships as the Don Frane Bulic, Kang Qiang, De Ming Hai and the Global Forwarder.

Most had their destinations set as Vancouver.

The Nanaimo Port Authority harbourmaster, Edward Dahlgren, said while he has no jurisdiction over the area and can't confirm why the ships are there.

But he knows things are backed up in Vancouver and speculates the ships are probably biding their time waiting for berths to open there.

“Vancouver is backed up for two reasons ... coal and grain,” said Dahlgren. “These ships are given their orders months ago. They arrive, if there’s not a slot, they have to wait.”

Coal was backed up because one of the loaders was down in one of the coal terminals, which has since been fixed said Dahlgren.

Recent flooding in Australian mines has also added to the pressures.

Droughts in major grain-producing nations has meant increased demand on Canadian grain, said Dahlgren, adding more pressure on Vancouver’s harbour.

“We are exceeding our normal exports,” said Dahlgren of the grain.

It is a positive story for Canadian exports, said Dahlgren, but added even snowfall in the Interior and avalanche concerns can slow operations up in Vancouver.

Dahlgren doesn’t believe the backlog has anything to do with what has happened in Japan.

“This chain of events started six months ago.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

United Way campaign nears close
 
B.C. hockey league has enough of angry parents
 
Target to close all stores in Canada, including 19 in B.C.
Shelter, meal providers see huge demand
 
Couple learns to cope with PTSD
 
Improvements coming to town core
Uchucklesaht to start construction in February
 
Dinner music supplied by three well-known Canadian musicians at Qualicum Beach restaurant
 
A first for B.C. as chief joins Regional District of Nanaimo board as an alternate

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.