Port Saint John is a part of the critical transportation infrastructure of Canada and a cornerstone of the New Brunswick economy. Its mission is to proactively manage, in a sustainable manner, the provision of infrastructure and service for present and future users of Port Saint John to the economic and social benefit of the surrounding region.
The port handles bulk, breakbulk, project cargo and containers, as well as cruise vessels. It is heavy lift and project cargo experienced — fully serviced and fully capable, providing unique and compre hen sive breakbulk handling solutions. In terms of bulk, Port Saint John has four existing bulk operations; PotashCorp, American Iron and Metal, Crosby’s Molasses and NB Power, with opportunities for additional bulk handling at its Lower Cove terminal.
For handling cargo, Port Saint John offers three different stevedores to work with: DP World, LOGISTEC, and QSL. Each has a local presence in the market, but also are well known internationally. This enables these companies to be active globally in the project cargo space throughout the year. A well-trained labour force supports them: the International Longshoreman Association (ILA). The ILA has handled various project cargoes in the past few years, including, but not limited to: cable reels, monopiles, nacelles, blades, and towers. Recognizing the growth at the port, and planning for the future, the ILA has been proactive in growing its workforce, and is expanding its numbers in the coming years. This bodes well for wind projects in the short, medium, and long term.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AT PORT SAINT JOHN
Five-year averages show that potash volumes at Port Saint John are continuing to increase. This is due to growing demand globally, but in particular in South America and Europe. Current annual volumes are anticipated to exceed one million tonnes again this year.
Stevedore DP World continues to increase the amount of shoreside equipment available at its site. Recent investments in Saint John equipment exceed C$45 million. This includes new cranes and shoreside handling equipment.
Recently Port Saint John and DP World reactivated two pier-side warehouses. In total this brings the available warehouse space at DP World’s terminal to more than 500,000ft2. The facilities are well suited to handle pulp, paper, and steel commodities.
Another major stevedore at the port, QSL, remains interested in offshore wind opportunities in Saint John. It has invested over C$4 million into new portable equipment to service the industry.
The newly completed 345m-long 17.1m-deep berth recently welcomed the first ship alongside. This berth is built to handle container, breakbulk, and bulk vessels to ensure Port Saint John remains well positioned to handle all cargoes.
Slip infill continues behind the new pier — once complete an additional 16 acres of land will become available for various types of cargo. In total between the new pier, slip infill and the deepening and widening of the main channel over a quarter billion dollars has been invested by the federal, provincial and port authority.
This investment has been matched nearly dollar for dollar by the private sector in the region, bringing the total investment into Port Saint John and its immediate hinterland to a half a billion dollars.
With the recent acquisition of Pan-Am Rail by CSX, Port Saint John now connects into three Class One Railway providers (CN, CPKC, CSX). CPKC recently strengthened its optionality in Saint John, with the acquisition of Kansas City Southern. Overall these three class ones enable Port Saint John to be well positioned to service: Canada, the United States, and Mexico well from an Atlantic Gateway. This Gateway is, by nautical mileage, closer to Brazil than some US East Coast Ports and serves as a key location to move cargo from Europe and Asia (via the Suez) into an ice-free, deep water port.
On the liquid bulk side, Port Saint John boasts one of the only fully food grade facilities on the East Coast of North America in Crosby Molasses. The facility continues to import various liquid bulk commodities but is looking for opportunities to expand its food grade portfolio (for both imports and exports), and overall volumes that move through the facility in the coming years. With the proximity to the DP World Container terminal the Crosby facility has the ability to transload food-grade material to and from containers within minimal shunt time between facilities. This saves shippers time and money on their overall supply chain needs.