Harbour Link News Archive

Advisory: Notice of Cessation of Operations at “Richmond Off-Dock Container Node”

Posted 2014-07-06 by Harbour Link in news

After extensive discussions with Port Metro Vancouver about the importance of Harbour Link’s Richmond Container Node (Riverport) as an ongoing solution for the Gateway and the Terminal Operators (TSI and DP World) to provide value added services for port stakeholders in the assembly and transit of import and export containers and also empty containers for shipping lines, we regrettably must inform you that we have received formal notice of lease cancellation and instructions from PMV to cease operations by the end of July 2014.

PMV’s reasons for requiring the cessation of operations at the Richmond Node pertain to a provision in the lease as a short term arrangement to clear the serious bottleneck that occurred at the Port in April caused by a truckers’ withdrawal of services and the serious rail backlog resulting from a railcar supply shortage due to winter inclemency.

While the above short term conditions have been rectified, based on our observations, the Port’s container facilities nevertheless continue to be experiencing capacity issues. Indeed, in the same way as the Richmond node provided the solution to clear the above bottleneck, during the short period of Harbour Link’s operation of the Richmond node it became an important component of the supply chain for the Port’s Terminal Operators (TSI and DP World) and for their customers to assemble laden import and export containers and also empty containers for shipping lines. The customer base and business support for the site includes the following:

  1. The proposed use of the site to assemble containers for the duration of the planned conversion of the Deltaport CY uplands that support the three berths to an RMG automated CY system to yield much greater terminal throughput capacity and performance efficiency.
  2. The use of the site by both marine terminal operators and shipping lines to reduce the quantity of empty containers being stored at the Port’s terminals for relay and distribution to shippers.
  3. The use of the site for the relay of containers between the Mainland and Vancouver Island
  4. The use of the site by international container leasing companies for the storage of empty containers
  5. The use of the site by exporters, 3PL’s and importers as a relay point for the transit of import and exporters to/from the container terminals to match their supply chain requirements
  6. The proposed use of the Fraser Wharves site for the transfer of westbound rail traffic, particularly the offloading and assembly of empty containers and the relay of eastbound rail traffic for specific destinations; Prairies, US points etc.
  7. The use of the site by the Oil and LNG sector for the assembly and handling of shipments of drilling pipe, etc., as containerized transload cargo destined for Northern British Columbia.
    1. We have been told by PMV the reason they require Harbour Link to cease operations at the end of July 2014 is linked to a mandatory requirement to enable PMV to complete an evaluation of the site for the continuance of container operations under a long term lease to Harbour Link Container Services Inc. PMV fully appreciate the importance of the support services being provided by Harbour Link and we have requested PMV to minimize the period of the closure of operations and to expedite the evaluation process leading to Harbour Link resuming the continuance of container handling operations at the Fraser Wharves site.

      Regrettably the closure of operations requires us to temporarily suspend the agreements made with shipping lines, etc., to accommodate the storage of their empty containers as an alternative to storing their containers at the Port’s container terminals. It also requires the need to suspend the agreements made with customers for the assembly of their laden containers at the Richmond node as a relay point for the transit of containers shipped through the Port of Vancouver to match their supply chain requirements, largely resulting from the changes made by TSI and DP World on July 1st related to the new gate protocols and reservation requirements.

      For clarity, Harbour Links main off-dock container terminal located in Delta (Hopcott Road) is not affected and continues to provide the full range of services requested by our customers. The Delta terminal will endeavor to integrate the displaced Richmond Node activities to the fullest extent possible.

      If you would like more information about this matter please contact us.

      Yours truly
      David Payne