Year in Review
2013 Year in Review
The Port of Vancouver USA has earned a reputation in the global marketplace for efficient handling of niche cargo through modern facilities and quality logistics operations, while providing leadership in the economic development for Southwest Washington. The port’s location at the crossroads of ocean-bound and river shipping lanes, interstate highways, and national rail lines is one of its strongest attributes.
For more than 100 years, Clark County citizens have relied on the Port of Vancouver as a connection to the global market, creating employment opportunities for our citizens and strengthening our economy while being good stewards of our natural resources.
Revenue Steady While Assets Continue Robust Growth
Port revenue continues to follow a ten-year upward trend, remaining relatively steady as the national and global economy recovers. The port continues to benefit from customers interested in connecting the Midcontinent to international and domestic markets. The most significant infrastructure investment, the West Vancouver Freight Access (WVFA) rail project, continues to progress, with the completion of two major components in 2013, including the Gateway Avenue overpass allowing grade separation between growing rail service and vehicles. The port also progressed on its new grade-separated rail entrance that will offer access to the port unimpeded by rail traffic on the main lines.
Rail improvements have helped attract $500 million in private sector investment and are expected to create up to 1,000 new, permanent jobs and 4,000 construction jobs. Overall, marine and industrial businesses at the port employ an estimated 2,300 people and generate approximately $1.6 billion in economic benefit to the region annually.
The WVFA, in addition to investments in a 43-foot Columbia River shipping channel, docks, cranes and other infrastructure and equipment, has set the foundation for growth. In ten years, the port has improved its net assets of transportation infrastructure, land, buildings and equipment by more than 260 percent –an investment that will continue to pay benefits and provide economic vitality to Clark County well into the future.
Operating Income (9.4 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – $29,876,861
- 2012 – $32,560,774
- 2013 – $21,120,365 (9.3 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2012 – $23,297,768
- 2013 – $8,756,496 (5.4 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2012 – $9,263,006
Total Net Assets Increase in 10 Years (262 percent increase over 2003)
- 2013 – $446 million
- 2003 – $170 million
Cargo Tonnage Holds Steady
Total cargo tonnage for 2013 remained stable with a modest 1.6 percent decrease as domestic and international markets continue to recover. Export cargoes fluctuated depending on the customer, country and commodity. Mineral bulks, including bentonite clay (used in a variety of industrial and consumer products) and copper concentrate (used to create copper wiring and products), saw the effects of a lower demand in Asian markets, while other exports including wheat, corn and soy continue to rise with global demand and facility investments to increase capacity at the port.
The decrease in imported wind energy components due to uncertainties related to tax incentive programs for alternative energy significantly impacted the port’s overall revenue. Fortunately, Subaru imports continue to increase as the U.S. market demand grows.
The port’s capacity to handle a growing variety of cargoes is increasing significantly as new rail infrastructure comes on line. Potash exports (a component of fertilizer) continues to advance as the port and its prospective tenant BHP Billiton finalize a long-term lease agreement in 2014. Additionally, a potential crude oil transfer facility is currently undergoing a robust environmental permitting process to transfer North American crude oil from rail to vessels. Vancouver Energy Distribution Terminal, operated by Savage Companies and Tesoro, plan to transport the oil to West Coast refineries.
Total Cargo Tonnage (1.6 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 4,480,604 metric tons
- 2012 – 4,554,304 metric tons
Vessel Calls (4.5 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 335 vessels
- 2012 – 351 vessels
Total Rail Cars (12.7 percent increase over 2012)
- 2013 – 45,584 rail cars
- 2012 – 40, 430 rail cars
Exports Show Modest Growth
Wheat, soy and corn exports, the largest commodity at the Port of Vancouver by tonnage, saw an increase in 2013, helping to stabilize fluctuations in other exports at the port that are still affected by inconsistent global economic growth and tariff changes that influence international supply of construction products, with more sanctions expected on steel products in 2014. Scrap metal exports declined due to depressed global pricing.
Below is a sample of the port’s export cargo from 2012 – 2013.
Overall Exports (.53 percent increase over 2012)
- 2013 – 3,900,687 metric tons
- 2012 – 3,879,982 metric tons
Copper Exports (12.7 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 366,206 metric tons
- 2012 – 419,782 metric tons
Bentonite Clay Exports (31.7 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013- 99,457 metric tons
- 2012 – 145,606 metric tons
Jet Fuel Exports (7.8 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013- 34,291 metric tons
- 2012 – 37,185 metric tons
Wheat, Soy & Corn Exports (7.6 percent increase over 2012)
- 2013 – 2.8 million metric tons
- 2012 – 2.6 million metric tons
Scrap Metal Exports (21 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 424,868 metric tons
- 2012 – 538,078 metric tons
Imports Reflect Global and National Trends
The port’s strategy to diversify its cargo mix continues to provide overall cargo and revenue stability. Although tariffs affected many imports, others, including paper pulp, grew with even more dramatic increases in Subaru auto imports as U.S. auto consumption rises.
The wind energy market – a staple of the port’s imports continued to be influenced by uncertainty in the national federal production tax credit (PTC) program, which incentivizes renewable energy investments. This uncertainty is reflected in the 84 percent decrease in wind energy component imports. Wind energy components are expected to increase in 2014 as companies transport components assembled in 2013, qualifying them for PTC status.
Below is a sample of the port’s import cargoes from 2012 – 2013.
Overall Imports (14 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 579,918 metric tons
- 2012 – 674322 metric tons
Steel Imports (40 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 99,225 metric tons
- 2012 – 165,304 metric tons
Jet Fuel Imports (14 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 70,000
- 2012 – 81,581
Wind Energy Imports (84 percent decrease from 2012)
- 2013 – 7,470 metric tons
- 2012 – 47,876 metric tons
Pulp Imports (7.5 percent increase over 2012)
- 2013 – 60,082 metric tons
- 2012 – 55,888 metric tons
Subaru America, Inc. Imports (50.5 percent increase over 2012)
- 2013 – 69,378 vehicles
- 2012 – 46,084 vehicles
Industrial Development Continues Growth Trend
The port welcomed several new businesses to its roster in 2013, including Pangea Motors and ProBuild-ST, and the expansion of existing tenants Brewcraft USA, Puget Sound Pipe and Supply and Vancouver Warehouse. These additions held the port’s occupancy rate up to more than 99 percent. To address the need for additional space, the port completed development of the first 58 acres of its new Centennial Industrial Park thanks to a $5.7 million grant from Washington State’s Department of Commerce Jobs Now Act.
Environmental Milestones Reached
For the third year in a row, the port continued its commitment to renewable energy through the purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) equal to 100% of its purchased electricity. The port also continued its efforts at innovation in stormwater management, integrating successful biofiltration technology that enabled the port to meet its regulatory requirements to control zinc, oil and other runoff contaminants. The port also installed a new facility to separate solid from liquid contaminants swept up from the docks, thanks to a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. The port’s innovative stormwater management also included the installation of a “closed-loop” equipment steam cleaning system that will reduce water use and wastewater discharges associated with keeping the port’s fleet of vehicles and industrial equipment properly maintained.
The port continues its installation of bike and pedestrian trails with the completion of a pedestrian and bike path on Lower River Road. A grant awarded in 2013 will construct a new section that will link the administration building to C-Tran bus service, and will additionally design another section that will make all the trail pieces contiguous to Gateway Avenue. The grant funded projects are part of the port’s overall plan to construct approximately 3.7 miles of safe passage for bicyclists and pedestrians along Lower River Road. When complete, it will connect downtown Vancouver to the Flushing Channel at Vancouver Lake. Future segments of the path will be funded as the port’s western properties such as Columbia Gateway are developed, or as additional grant funds are acquired.
Lastly, the port, together with Clark County Wetland Mitigation Partners, LLC, celebrated major construction milestones on the 154-acre Columbia River Wetland Mitigation Bank, with final planting occurring in early 2013. The wetland provides valuable habitat while ensuring responsible development.