Frequently Asked Questions

Here's where you can find answers to all the questions you have about the Port expansion.

Why does the Port need to expand its infrastructure?

To continue to be competitive in the global shipping industry, Halifax needs the capacity to berth at least two ultra-class ships. Our current infrastructure doesn’t meet this need.

What happens if we do nothing?

Without expansion, the Port’s business will not be able to grow at the same pace as its competitors. Big ships are calling—if we don’t make room in Halifax, these ships will leave us behind. The loss of business will have potentially serious economic impacts on Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the rest of Canada.

Why now?

The shipping industry is evolving at a tremendous pace—cargo ships are getting bigger and global shipping alliances are focusing on ports that can accommodate ultra-class vessels. The window of opportunity to create space to berth a second ultra-class vessel is closing, as global shipping alliances set their service patterns for the next 1-5 years. 

Will the Port be impacted by the construction of a new terminal or interim solution(s)?

No, the Port of Halifax is open for business. We will continue to use our existing infrastructure to welcome cargo and cruise business to the city.

When will a final decision be made about the longer term expansion?

We are hoping to make a decision about the future of our infrastructure in the near future. Right now, we are in the process of reviewing feasible options in further detail to ensure we are making the best decision for our Port and our community. 

Who is going to pay for the South End Container Terminal extension?

The Port will cover the costs associated with the temporary extension of the South End Container Terminal. We estimate this extension will cost $35 million. 

How does the Port’s plan align with other local, regional, and national initiatives?

The growth of our Port is part of a larger development story. We are aligning our strategic objectives with larger initiatives, including the Centre Plan and Atlantic Growth Strategy.

Can you share the options that the Committee and HPA have been considering?

When we began this process, every option was on the table. We looked at 11 options on both sides of the harbour and connected with stakeholders to hear feedback and explore opportunities. Over the past two years, we have worked with experts and planners to study the merits and challenges of each option in greater detail while continuing to consult with key stakeholders to narrow down our options to those that best meet our business needs and the needs of the community. 

Is the expansion possible if the Port of Halifax is unable to secure federal funding?

The ability to retain and grow cargo associated with ultra-class container vessels is critical to Canada’s long-term trade strategies and we will continue to move forward with partners to expand our infrastructure. We are exploring options that will allow us to plan and develop within our means in a way that will attract private investors to get on board. 

Is the Port of Halifax planning to apply for additional federal infrastructure funding?

Absolutely. We appreciated the opportunity to submit an application to the National Trade Corridor Fund and value the support we received from our partners and local stakeholders. We will continue to look for funding opportunities as part of the federal government’s Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative. 

What is happening to the Fairview Cove Container Terminal?

The Port will continue to operate as normal at Fairview Cove Container Terminal, operated by Ceres Halifax.

Will the second phase of the infrastructure expansion (South End Container Terminal North) impact existing tenants at Ocean Terminal?

We recognize the importance and usage of this terminal and have been engaging with tenants on how to continue to enable their work during and after the expansion.

Will the operations of the Halifax Grain Elevator be impacted?

We recognize the importance and usage of Halifax Grain Elevator, a national asset for our agriculture industry. We have been engaging with the operator and the associated tenants on how to continue to enable their work during and after the expansion.

Will the cruise operations at the Halifax Seaport change?

The Halifax Seaport is home to our main cruise terminal and will remain as the destination for berthing our larger cruise ships. 

Will this plan reduce truck traffic in Halifax?

We understand that truck traffic is a concern—that’s why we are implementing measures that have the potential to significantly impact the number of container trucks moving through the downtown core. One of those measures is converting truck exports and imports from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to rail via a ramp in Moncton, which is projected to cause a 10% reduction in truck traffic at both terminals. 

Are you working with HRM or other partners to align your plans with other projects?

We are excited to be part of the powerful momentum that’s building across our city, province, and region. We need to grow and know we can’t do it alone. We have been working with stakeholders and partners to help shape our future and to align our goals and priorities.