Cargo tonnage at Port Saint John increases year-over-year

Significant increases experienced, in some cargo sectors as much as 123%

SAINT JOHN (NB) – Overall cargo tonnage at Port Saint John for the year 2021 was 28,822,218 metric tonnes (MT), an 11% increase over 2020. 

In the container sector, both TEUs and tonnage experienced year-over-year increases in 2021, with TEUs increasing to 86,949 TEUs (10% over 2020) and tonnage increasing to 617,312 MT (6% over 2020). This is the fifth consecutive year of growth in the container sector at Port Saint John.  

Several major developments occurred in 2020 and 2021 that will continue to positively impact container cargo at Port Saint John. These are: 

  • The continuation of the $205 million West Side Modernization Project construction which launched early in 2020 and which is due to be complete in 2023 in funding partnership with the Government of Canada, Province of New Brunswick, and Port Saint John.  
  • The launch of CP Rail’s East Coast Advantage strategy and rail services through acquisition and improvement of the former CMQR line in the State of Maine, solidifying Port Saint John as the only Atlantic Canadian port with two Class I national rail providers, including CN Rail. And, 
  • The presence of weekly services from 3 of the world’s leading container lines: MSC, CMA CGM, and Hapag Lloyd. 

“Operating in a sustainable manner, together with our stakeholders and partners, is our key focus at Port Saint John. We do this to ensure our shared growth has the most positive impact for our community, Province, and Canada.  Last year was a strong year for cargo traffic at Port Saint and for our various operators and partners. With the completion of the new, deeper pier on the West Side in early 2023, together we look forward to continued growth in the cargo sector.  While this was the second year without cruise, tremendous efforts were undertaken over the past 2 years across the industry to safely re-introduce cruise.  At Port Saint John we are ready to do our part in ensuring cruise is safely resumed in our community later in 2022,” said Craig Bell Estabrooks, President & CEO of Port Saint John.  

In other cargo sectors, dry bulk cargoes increased by 123% to 1,907,875 MT. The increase in this sector was driven primarily by two commodities: potash and recycled metals. Potash experienced an increase from 619,203 MT in 2020 to 1,653,750 MT in 2021. Recycled metals experienced an increase from 174,471 MT in 2020 to 254,125 MT in 2021. The liquid bulk sector experienced an increase of 7%, driven primarily by increased export petroleum products. 

 Port Saint John is Canada’s Atlantic Canada’s largest port by tonnage and has a diverse cargo base, including dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise.  

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Media Contact: 

Jane Burchill, Communications & Sustainability Specialist, Port Saint John,  

[email protected], (506)343-3707