Earlier this month, Tropical Shipping announced it will be moving its container business to Halifax at the end of the year. Tropical currently accounts for about half of the container traffic at the port.
“It could affect almost half the hours that we work at the container terminal so it’s very significant,” said Pat Riley of I.L.A. Local 273 International Longshoremen’s Association in Saint John.
This news might be a much tougher pill to swallow had it not been for two major announcements made at the port this year. All the funding pieces are in place for a $200-million modernization to the West Side Terminal which will almost triple its container handling capability. As well, shipping giant DP World signed a long term lease to run the terminal with the aim of drawing in new business.
There is also the ongoing MSC container business, the second largest container company in the world.
Nonetheless port officials say losing Tropical is a serious loss.
“So now rather than looking at the aggressive growth plans that DP and ourselves have been working on, some of those plans accelerated to ensure we backfill the service requirements in our port to ensure that those customers in New Brunswick can continue to look to Port Saint john as the solution,” said port president and C.E.O. Jim Quinn.
Rest at http://globalnews.ca/news/3079961/port-saint-john-officials-optimistic-despite-loss-of-container-business/