Port of Halifax Annual Report 2021

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Annual Report 2021

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Business Development and Economic Impact

Port of Halifax

The Port as an Economic Driver

 

In another year that saw the world continue to be significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Halifax Port Authority was also impacted, though not necessarily in the ways we were expecting. We did not welcome a single cruise vessel in 2021, but the same period proved to be a strong year for cargo business through the Port of Halifax.

As a Canadian Port Authority, our role is to manage the assets of the crown through revenue generation and re-investment in infrastructure. We are accountable for the long-term planning and development of that infrastructure to maintain and grow activities within the port in a responsible, sustainable way.

The impact of what we do extends well beyond Halifax Harbour and the harbour limit line. It extends to each and every visitor to the Seaport that arrives by road, by rail, by air, and by sea. It extends to the truck and rail operators who bring in and ship out the goods made and used by Nova Scotians and Canadians. It extends to each and every person who works in and around the Seaport District, to their families and their communities throughout Nova Scotia. This activity connects us all together, and drives our economy.

After a challenging start to 2020, a surge of container traffic helped the year finish strong. As the world began the long road to economic recovery, our operations did too. In 2021, the Port of Halifax handled 595,751 TEUs of containerized cargo. This was an increase of 17.5% over the previous year, and a tremendous year for this part of our operations.

For the second year in a row, our cruise ship business was suspended. Despite that setback, we took the opportunity to make some changes to Halifax’s Seaport District. With the Seaport Farmers’ Market relocated to a nearby space, the former Halifax Seaport Market building was rebranded and reconfigured as “the PIER”, Canada’s first living lab for transportation, supply chain and logistics.

As we observed in last year’s Annual Report, this COVID-19 era is unlike any other in the history of the Port. The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt far and wide and are having an impact every aspect of our business. Resulting supply chain issues and other factors present significant challenges to HPA, but also give us the time to look inward at our operations to find previously unidentified opportunities for transformational change. Through it all, we remain committed to our long-term strategies for transformation and growth and are emerging with wind in our sails and confidence in our collective future.

 
Port of Halifax

2021 PORT OF HALIFAX ECONOMIC IMPACT

After a challenging start to 2020, a surge of container traffic helped the year finish strong. As the world began the long road to economic recovery, our operations did too. In 2021, the Port of Halifax handled 595,751 TEUs of containerized cargo. This was an increase of 17.5% over the previous year, and a tremendous year for this part of our operations.

For the second year in a row, our cruise ship business was suspended. Despite that setback, we took the opportunity to make some changes to Halifax’s Seaport District. With the Seaport Farmers’ Market relocated to a nearby space, the former Halifax Seaport Market building was rebranded and reconfigured as “the PIER”, Canada’s first living lab for transportation, supply chain and logistics.

As we observed in last year’s Annual Report, this COVID-19 era is unlike any other in the history of the Port. The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt far and wide and are having an impact every aspect of our business. Resulting supply chain issues and other factors present significant challenges to HPA, but also give us the time to look inward at our operations to find previously unidentified opportunities for transformational change. Through it all, we remain committed to our long-term strategies for transformation and growth and are emerging with wind in our sails and confidence in our collective future.

 
Port of Halifax
 

Port of Halifax Canada-wide Impact

 
Port of Halifax

in economic output

Port of Halifax

in GDP

 
Port of Halifax

jobs

Port of Halifax

in labour income

 

Cargo

 

As Canada’s Ultra Atlantic Gateway, the Port of Halifax is essential for Canada’s global trade. Offering a natural, deep harbour and big ship infrastructure, Halifax can accommodate large volumes of containerized cargo, breakbulk cargo, and project cargo. Collaborating with strong partners and other interested parties, our cost-competitive, reliable, and efficient cargo capabilities help us deliver excellence to our containerized cargo trading partners around the world.

2021: A Challenging Year That Defied Prediction

In a year that was largely defined by uncertainty and supply chain complications, 2021 turned out to be a banner year for cargo at the Port of Halifax. Our container terminals handled a total of 595,751 TEU from January 1st through December 31st – 36,509 TEU more than the volume that was handled in 2017, our best year previously.

As we have long known, and many outside our industry have come to realize over these past two years, supply chains are linked. What happens at one point along the chain affects others who are connected. The world’s trade machine is producing, shipping, and delivering more goods to North American consumers than it ever has, but supply chains continue to face challenges. We expected continued disruptions in 2022.

This is a global issue that is impacting everyone. For importers and exporters, it means their goods might be delayed in getting here or not able to move out as quickly because of blank sailings. At a consumer level, those delays mean goods are not making it onto store shelves.

Availability of labour is another challenge, not just here but everywhere. The pandemic has reshaped the labour pool, and it is all inter-related.

 
Port of Halifax
Port of Halifax

We welcomed the largest containerized cargo vessel to call on a Canadian port.

In May, the largest containerized cargo vessel to call on a Canadian port – the CMA CGM Marco Polo – arrived at PSA Halifax in the Port of Halifax. It was the first call for a vessel of this size to any port on the East Coast of North America. The CMA CGM Marco Polo measures 396 metres in length with a 54-metre beam, and has a carrying capacity of 16,022 TEU.

 
Port of Halifax
 
Port of Halifax

We expanded our global reach.

In 2021, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) added the Port of Halifax to the list of more than 500 ports where it operates. In September, we received the first direct call between the West Coast of India and a Canadian port when the maiden call of the MSC Indus 2 Service arrived at PSA Halifax – Atlantic Hub.

PSA Halifax is ultimately owned by PSA International. PSA Halifax – Atlantic Hub has the capability to handle the largest vessels that visit North America’s east coast. It features the longest and deepest berth of any Canadian port in Eastern Canada, with a continuous quay length of 800 metres at a depth of 16.5 metres, terminal area of 32 hectares, five super-post-Panamax cranes and unimpeded access to international shipping lanes. Building networked coastal and inland rail solutions, PSA Halifax – Atlantic Hub offers global carriers and logistics providers a reliable route to market, as well as unrivalled ‘first and last port’ capabilities as Canada’s Atlantic hub.

This is very important as we previously did not have a direct connection with India. This is something the Halifax Port Authority, PSA Halifax and CN have been working toward for some time. Expanding our global reach will contribute to sustainable, long-term growth of cargo through the Port of Halifax and supply chain security for Canadian manufacturers and consumers.

Captain Allan Gray
President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority

Port of halifax by the numbers

Port of Halifax
 

Top 5
Containerized
Exports

Manufactured Goods

Plastics

Vegetables

Paper and Forest Products

Seafood

Port of Halifax
 

Top 5
Containerized
Imports

Manufactured Goods

Machinery & Equipment

Clothing

Plastics

Furniture

 
Port of Halifax
 

Total Cargo in Metric Tonnes

 

150

Countries

 
Port of Halifax

Commercial
Cargo Vessels

Port of Halifax

Container Lines

Port of Halifax

CRUISE 2021, A UNIQUE YEAR FOR OUR MARQUEE DESTINATION

 

It’s no secret that 2021 was not the best year for the Canadian cruise industry. In the midst of a pandemic, Transport Canada’s priority was keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe from COVID-19, and in February the Government of Canada made the decision to suspend the cruise season. It was a setback, but it was the right thing to do.

While the Port of Halifax cruise season was suspended, HPA’s work continued in preparation for the return of cruise ships to our harbour. We participated in a series of cruise resumption workshops that brought interested parties together to prepare for the 2022 season. The program was designed to support the safe successful return of cruise for everyone – our community, our cruise line clients, and our guests.

Since early in the pandemic, we continued to work with our partners at the Association of Canadian Port Authorities and the cruise lines to develop protocols for the safe resumption of cruise activity on our waterfront. It is safe to say that many of us – from locals and visitors to the many businesses and industries that rely on these vessels for their livelihoods – look forward to seeing those ships on our horizon once again.

2022 is looking strong.

Halifax remains a marquee port of call for the Canada-New England cruise industry, and the 2022 schedule is looking strong. With 150+ expected vessel calls scheduled for this year’s cruise season, 2022 will see us at 85% of where we left off in 2019. Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO of HPA, is confident. “We are starting the rebuilding process in a strong position. Halifax is a safe and welcoming destination with natural beauty all around and many authentic experiences to share with visitors. Cruise lines and their guests want to come here, and we want them to come.”

 
Port of Halifax