New Vancouver Terminal to Transform Grain Exports
G3’s newly proposed grain export terminal at Vancouver’s Port Metro is expected to have a significant effect on grain transport logistics in Canada.
The facility will be the first terminal at the port to have a loop track rail, meaning trains will be able to unload while staying intact with power on throughout the entire unloading process. The existing process calls for trains to use a staging yard where the train is divided into multiple pieces and shuttled back and forth for unloading. Unloading of a complete train on the loop rail should be able to be completed within six hours, compared to 12 to 18 hours for the existing method – effectively doubling to tripling the unloading efficiency.
The terminal will be able to load the largest cape-sized vessels with a capacity of 100,000 tons of grain, however most of the cargo will be shipped in Panamax sized or smaller vessels.
This increase in efficiency and capacity will lead to increased need for improved inland capacity and efficiency in order to keep pace. The current inland system has an estimated annual capacity of 2.5 to 3 million tons. Karl Garrand, chief executive of G3 expects that a number of additional loop track terminals will need to be built throughout Canada’s prairies, particularly in Saskatchewan and Alberta, to bring at least six million tons of grain to the new Vancouver facility per year.