Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) boasts a strong year for shipping in 2016, but continued to struggle attracting coveted cruise liners to the harbour city.
Tonnage volumes jumped by 61% in 2016 when compared with 2015, according to year-end stats released by the NPA. The number of ships handling raw logs at the Assembly Wharf doubled and 21% more containers were handled.
This marked the 5th straight year of growth in that area.
However, NPA president Bernie Dumas said they expect only six cruise ships to visit their terminal in 2017, the exact same number as 2016. Dumas said they set a goal of 25 to 30 ships.
Cruise visits directly translate into money being shot into the Nanaimo economy, a release from the NPA shows. Each visit injects an estimated $150,000 or more.
On the positive side, they get good responses from the ships that do visit. Passengers enjoy the "friendly, clean and safe" community.
NPA will apply for federal funding this year to expand their Duke Point deep sea facility. They are looking at doubling the size so they can take larger ships and have more paved area to handle extra cargo.
The NPA release showed more than 3,200 recreational boaters, mainly from the U.S., stopped in Nanaimo last summer. That is a spike compared to the typical numbers around 2,600. NPA is also looking at upgrading the marina.