A positive future for our port

A vibrant, working waterfront is a fundamental part of our port city and has tremendous benefits felt in Halifax and across Nova Scotia. We’re proud of our contributions to the region and are working to ensure the future looks even brighter.

The shipping industry is undergoing significant change—the industry is now in the era of ultra-class vessels. As these massive ships become the new norm, our Port must adapt or risk being left behind.

Halifax has a naturally deep harbour—one of the deepest in North America—which is a key requirement for accommodating ultra-class vessels. Our advantageous geographical location allows the Port of Halifax direct access to global trade routes, with 18 international shipping lines providing access to 150 countries. Nova Scotia’s existing truck and Class 1 rail connectivity offers competitive and cost effective delivery options to major North American centres. Additionally, with the widening of the Panama Canal and an additional shipping lane added to the Suez Canal, larger vessels are being deployed along the East Coast of North America.

To stay competitive, meet business needs and continue to grow Nova Scotia’s economy, the Port must develop and implement a plan to berth two ultra-vessels simultaneously.

The Opportunity

Last year, combined Port of Halifax operations output and combined with the value of Nova Scotia container exports through the Port of Halifax contributed more than $3.6 billion in economic benefit to Nova Scotia. Moreover, the Port of Halifax delivers an additional 29, 520 jobs and $1.44 billion in salary and wages to the rest of Canada through its operations and local exporter activity. The GDP of other provinces benefitted by over $1.1 billion from Nova Scotia exporters using the Port of Halifax. 

The containerized cargo business has undergone significant change as worldwide cargo projections continue to grow. Ports across the globe are getting ready—especially in North America. The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey is raising the Bayonne Bridge. This is a significant undertaking which will allow its terminals to handle ultra-class ships and change global shipping patterns on the East Coast of North America. Global shipping alliances will soon set service routes for the next one to five years. As ports on the East Coast and around the world adapt, so must Halifax. 

Port Planning

In 2016, HPA engaged global engineering firm WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to help develop an infrastructure plan focused on increasing containerized cargo capacity that satisfies customer needs in the ultra-class era. HPA and WSP are evaluating every option and gathering input from terminal operators, partners, municipal planners, customers, residents and the business community. This is the most extensive review of available HPA cargo options in more than a decade.

Thank you for all your input and support to this point and look forward to supporting the growth of our beautiful working waterfront.

2016 Survey Results

Stay Informed

We’ll keep you up-to-date on where we’re headed and how we’re doing.