Prince George has become more than a dot on the map to executives from the China Ocean Shipping Company, says Tim McEwan, president and CEO of Initiatives Prince George.
In fact the company president, Bo Liang, and executive vice-president, Dave Bedwell, were in Prince George Monday meeting with CN executives as well as local movers and shakers in the export business.
One of their goals while in town was to have some discussions with CN representatives regarding the expanding inter-modal facility.
The facility has already grown to the point where it is stuffing 450 containers a day and by January of 2012 that number will be up to somewhere between 700 and 800.
“Our role is to be the facilitator to bring together the parties involved,” McEwan said.
He said a luncheon with representatives of the export community, primarily in the forestry sector, helps ensure everyone knows the company’s needs and keeps the lines of communication strong.
“And we want this to continue to grow for the economic benefit of the city and the region,” he said.
He added that recent provincial announcements regarding upgrading Ridley Island, and particularly expanding the container port at Prince Rupert, will positively affect business. To put it in perspective, he pointed out Prince Rupert will continue expanding to about a twomillion container facility by the end of the decade while currently the Port of Vancouver’s capacity is between 2.3 and 2.5 million.
He said local backhaul opportunities will be greatly increased.
“China needs what we have to offer,” he said.