Overall volume of 101.9m tonnes was down 11% compared to 2008. Total foreign exports were flat, but Asia, led by China, emerged as a major factor in volume growth for bulk exports. Despite the mostly negative impact of the global recession on international trade, positive economic growth in China and India, along with stability in South Korea, translated into strong increases in exports of Canadian commodities to these countries through Port Metro Vancouver.
On another positive note, volume decreases experienced during the first half of 2009 inched toward recovery in the third and fourth quarters, foreshadowing possible gains for 2010.
Container traffic decreased nearly 14% to a total of 2.2m teu. The downturn in the economy and erosion of consumer confidence in 2009 led to a 19% decline in imported containerised goods, while stable demand for forest products and specialty crops helped boost out volume by 1%. Loaded container volumes ended the year down 10%, a decided improvement from the 17% drop reported at midyear.