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About the Port

Port Metro Vancouver: Your Port

Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest and most diversified port, a dynamic gateway for domestic and international trade and tourism, and a major economic force that strengthens the Canadian economy.

We're also a port with a history of commitment to the environment, to our operating communities, and to innovation.

We invite you to explore our website to learn more about who we are and what we do, for information about what's happening in your community, to learn about our environmental programs and many projects, or to inquire about business opportunities.

For our existing customers, stakeholders and tenants, please visit our Port Users section for updated commercial information.

Welcome to Your Port.

PORT 101: How did that smart phone get here?

You head to the mall to purchase the latest smart phone. You simply go into a store, purchase the phone, and go home. But how did it get there in the first place? Items we use every day from shoes and clothing to electronics and appliances actually travel a long way, through a specific chain of events, before arriving in your local store.

Follow the journey of a smart phone as it makes its way to your local store. 

A ride along the supply chain

Arrival at Port Metro Vancouver

A container ship arrives, one of more than 3,000 different vessels Port Metro Vancouver welcomes each year, with a shipment of smart phones manufactured in China. Our Harbour Patrol Officers inspect the vessel and ensure navigational safety and security of the Port. 

Unloading the ship

Once the container ship berths, crews unload the vessel. Huge gantry cranes transfer containers from the ship to the dock, where they are moved, separated and grouped in a storage yard. Nearly 70 per cent of import containers are loaded onto rail for shipment outside the Lower Mainland, the rest are trucked to local businesses. 

Container pick-up

Moving the containers from the dock to the store is the job of trucking companies. As soon as the ship arrives, they make a reservation to pick-up their containers at the terminal. A rubber-tired gantry crane lifts the container onto the waiting truck. The truck leaves the terminal, making a stop at a distribution centre, or trans-load facility.


Containers arrive at a trans-load facility where the contents are sorted. Trans-loading is the process of transferring a shipment from one method of transportation to another, such as ship to truck or rail. Once sorted, the contents can then be delivered to their final destination. 

The shipment of smart phones is delivered and the store stocks its shelves – just in time for you to be the first to get the latest model! 

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Bringing goods to you in a good way

Real-life stories about people in our communities and their connections to the Port.


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