Centerm Expansion Project

Enhancing Canada’s trade while protecting the environment and considering local communities.

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | 2019 – 2023

Key shipping terminal has gone through a series of reconfigurations over 100 years

Port of Vancouver’s first major design-build project

Terminal throughput increased from 900,000 to 1,500,000 TEUs, while expanding footprint by only 15%

Awarded the Envision Platinum certification from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure


  • Implement on-terminal upgrades including land expansion and facilities reconfiguration to support greener and more efficient operations of the existing Centerm container terminal. Off-terminal improvements were also needed to help meet the increasing demand for containers shipped through the Port of Vancouver.
  • Increase Centerm’s throughput by 67% to 1.5 million 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs), while only increasing its physical footprint by 15%.
  • Enhance rail and road access to terminal and improve the logistics chain of container discharge and delivery.
  • Stage and sequence all work to allow for the ongoing operation of the terminal throughout the construction period.
  • Minimize disruption of existing third-party infrastructure and gain acceptance from all project stakeholders for all aspects of the project.


  • Increased berthing facilities including provision of 2 additional electric powered ship-to-shore cranes, and 5 new electric rail mounted gantries in the intermodal yard.
  • Reconfigured truck gate entrances and exits, new vessel shore power, a new LEED gold container operations centre (COF) with electric vehicle receptacles, new yard lighting, optimized landfill for additional real estate, expanded intermodal yard, and expanded power and storage towers for greater refrigerated container capacity.
  • Extensive record searches with site surveys and detailed modeling to successfully interface existing infrastructure with new construction.
  • Complex staging and sequencing to minimize construction impacts to the facilities and ensure the terminal can be sequentially worked on without interruption to daily terminal operations.
  • A Marine Life Salvage Plan that included fish salvage and relocation was used prior to dredging and infilling works. The water quality was monitored to meet the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environmental Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life and a silt curtain “moon pool” to isolate work areas for sediment control.


  • Enabled construction completion with minimal impact to 24/7 operating terminal and no unscheduled disruption of third-party utilities and services.
  • Achieved operational capacity increase of 67% while minimizing environmental footprint of expansion, including the use of shore power and the reduction of container traffic congestion on local roads.
  • 2 prefabricated deep concrete caissons were used for berth expansion involving complex engineering. The caissons were floated to site under tow and ballasted into place on a prepared rock mattress laid on top of densified fill.
  • Improved working environment for the end user and the terminal operator through provision of modernized and efficient facilities and logistics enhancements.
  • Awarded the Envision Platinum certification, which is the highest-rated award from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure.

“We are very pleased to have achieved such remarkable, independent recognition for our sustainability efforts throughout the planning, design, and construction of this critical project for Canada. It was made possible thanks to a concerted team effort and leadership towards our vision.”

Gilles Assier | Project Director, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

67% increase in terminal throughput; 1.5 million TEU capacity, increased from 900,000

350 full time equivalent jobs created through construction period; 800-900 additional port-related jobs as a result of completed project

11 existing reefers relocated to new locations to save cost and reduce waste

2 floating concrete caissons at 37.4 m long x 17.5 m wide x 20.5m tall for berth extension

600-metre-long bridge to separate container traffic from rail crossings

2 rail yards reconfigured and expanded

5 new state-of-the-art truck gates with automation

1 former historic shed to refurbished to state-of-the-art operations facility

22 electric vehicle stalls at the container operations facility

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