Resurgence in port activity – the time to modernize is now

There’s a resurgence of port activity with the attraction of some of the world’s top container shipping lines including Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Tropical Shipping —offering weekly service to global markets through Saint John. .

We have nearly doubled this cargo sector since 2012.

More than 350 ports worldwide are now accessible through Port Saint John every week.

Impact across New Brunswick

As a Province, we must remember that Port Saint John is a transition point.

Cargo comes to the Port from many different locations across the Province.

On this map you can easily see many different industries from across New Brunswick that use the current container services of Port Saint John to get to global markets.


Whether it be peat moss, forest products, frozen foods, or aquaculture, this Port has the services to allow these companies to grow and positively impact the economies of the cities and towns they are located in.

It is also important to note that we handle cargo from the US and other Atlantic Canadian provinces.

With all this being said, the time to modernize is now

Deeper, stronger, and more efficient

To compete and grow on the world stage a terminal upgrade is required to accommodate larger vessels and to have the handling capacity to service modern fleets.

For our conceptual design we worked with a well-known company Hatch Mott MacDonald, a world leader in marine terminal designs.

Our objective is to be deeper, stronger and more efficient:

  1. This project is going to allow us to handle larger ships due to increased water depths.
  2. It will allow us to have a structure that can sustain more weight, and enable us to have larger cranes.
  3. We will have a larger, new intermodal rail yard to provide for more efficient movement of cargo from the ship to truck and rail, and consequently to/from inland markets.

We will also be able to handle heavier and greater volumes of other non-containerized cargo.

What we are proposing is a generational ‘hundred year’ fix for this Port.

The Project

We have been speaking the past few weeks about the $205 million cost.

This cost breaks down into two components which will be carried out over a 7-year period with no impact to current operations at the Port.

The first component is the wharf and terminal construction the cost of which is estimated to be $167 million.

This project also includes a capital dredging component of $38 million in the main channel that will not only improve conditions for today’s current users, but will also allow us to accommodate larger ships for both cargo and cruise.

And this is important for the cruise sector because they too are moving to larger ships requiring deeper water and we must stay competitive to maintain and grow this important sector in our Provincial economy.

The Economic Benefits

As part of our Building Canada application, our staff and consultants conducted an economic benefits analysis.

Activity from container growth alone will double the direct and indirect jobs attributed to this sector across the region from 500 to more than 1,000, not including economic growth spin-offs.


The multipurpose nature of the new terminal will also allow for growth in non-containerized cargo that will represent additional direct and indirect jobs.

We have a vision for a modernized terminal that includes the ability for New Brunswick to become a distribution centre for goods from around the world.  This is a story we tell as we market our Port to global shippers and receivers.

Success stories from other ports demonstrate that with increased cargo comes the potential for advanced manufacturing and distribution

Just imagine the hundreds of jobs that could be created for our provincial economy.

With respect to the construction period, our project will create more than 1,400 person years of direct and indirect jobs during the 7-year design and construction phase.  This means on average 200 jobs per year over the 7-year period.

The natural advantages

This is a major project for the future of our Port and Province.

  • Port Saint John is one of the major ports in the Atlantic Gateway with an excellent rail and road network
  • Port Saint John is ideally situated with some of the deepest ice-free tidal waters in Canada
  • US East Coast ports are becoming more and more congested
  • Shippers and receivers are looking for Eastern options
  • Port Saint John and New Brunswick are positioned be the solution
  • Thousands of people in Saint John and the province are working in port related industries including petroleum, potash, forestry, aquaculture, and import and export trades
  • The future growth of our province is dependent on a modern and efficient port that will provide New Brunswick companies with competitive exporting and importing facilities
  • The time is now to capitalize on our natural strengths and proximity to world markets

See a video about the project here.

Learn more about the Project by following us on Twitter @PortSaintJohn and Facebook Port Saint John

Farewell to the 2014 Cruise Season

As we prepare to welcome our final cruise ship of the season today, Monday, October 27th, we’re taking a look back over this season’s highlights which include:

  • 11 double cruise ship days
  • 2 triple cruise ship days
  • 8 inaugural calls
  • A new cruise line for the Port – Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • A visit by Queen Mary 2
  • And our 1000th cruise visit since 1989!

Throughout this season, we have been amazed at the great photographs being shared with us on social media.    Photos have been taken from homes, offices or other great vantage points around the harbour.

We appreciate this interest in harbour activity and when we wanted something unique to give Ruby Princess for being the 1000th ship to visit Saint John (October 16), we went back to see if some of our social media fans had a great shot that would work great for us.

We found that image in the multitude taken over the past few months by Saint Johner Jordan McWilliams.

The image we chose shows Ruby Princess on her inaugural call to Saint John in September along with the Falls Shuttle, a frequent sight in the harbour.


We also wanted to learn a bit more about Jordan’s interest in photographing the Port and he kindly agreed to answer a few questions:

Q:    As an amateur photographer, and a Saint John resident, what most interests you about the Port?

A (Jordan):  We moved here from Alberta eight years ago and the port amazed me. From the ship traffic to the tides. I like everything about the port.

Q: Did you have a favourite ship to shoot? You’ve taken a number of great cruise shots over the past few months?  From the 

A (Jordan):  The Queen Mary 2 is my favourite ship to shoot. She is amazing.

Q :   And do you have a favourite photo from the collection?

A (Jordan):  I took a couple of pictures of the Queen Mary 2 last time she was here. They have to be my favourites.

You can follow Jordan’s photography of the Port and other things of interest to him in and around Saint John on Twitter & Instagram (@fundysnapper).

Here are some of our favourites from those Jordan took of his favourite Port subject, Queen Mary 2 (September 19).

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Queen Mary 2 is due again in the fall of 2015.

The entire 2015 cruise schedule will be posted in the new year on our cruise website

Share your Port photos (cruise, cargo and events) with us on our sites:

 @PortSaintJohn on Twitter
“PortSaintJohn” on Instagram
Port Saint John” on Facebook

Jack Perry: Memories from a Port City Life

Every day, Jack Perry woke up and went down to the Port.

He started early or late, depending, and ended his shift covered in dust – the mark of a grain elevator operator.

He spent his entire career at the Port – all 50 years of it.

Perry, now 98, is still not far from our city’s industrial core. He lives at the Carleton-Kirk Lodge, the Port visible from the front step. His small room is packed with memories – a Toronto Maple Leafs blanket on the bed, a skating figurine on the shelf and whole albums of hunting and fishing photos in the closet.


He is one of eleven siblings, with three children of his own. One of his grandchildren looks after his port memorabilia – which Jack eagerly dropped off at the Port.

He talked for more than an hour, offering piles of old photographs and news clippings about the Port.

Perry’s history borders the Port. He grew up on Tower Street, just blocks from where he now resides. He went to the old New Albert School and Saint John Vocational School before leaving to work at the Port.

A grain elevator is true to its name. Tall towers used for receiving and storing grain, the mechanisms inside scoop grain up, bringing it to another level for storage.

photo 1

In the late 1800s, grain shipments to the Port increased after the development of rail links with western Canada. The port’s need for a grain elevator was met, first with one on the west side in 1893 and a second elevator on the east side.

It was a time of transition for the Port, changing from a regional port handling local goods to an international port shipping products from across Canada to the world.

The grain elevator was demolished over the course of several months in 2002, making room for new revenue streams for the Port. Now, piers 10 through 12 are used for the American Iron and Metal Facility, liquid bulk from the fish oil and Crosby’s Molasses tanks and Atlantic Towing’s modern tugboat facility.

Now, things are looking up. Container cargo rose by 60 per cent in 2013 and numbers continue to grow. Saint John is now a cruise port, attracting the world’s biggest cruise lines. We’re also an energy hub, home to Irving Oil and Canaport LNG. Port Saint John is the largest port in Atlantic Canada by volume.

Perry was happy to share his stories. He was worried the history of the grain elevators and hundreds of men and women who operated them would be lost.

“It’s so anyone could see that this is one of the best ports in Canada,” he said.

photo 2

Here comes the bride – and groom!

Port Saint John and From Menus to Venues Wedding and Event Planning are partnering to bring Insights: A Wedding Fair to the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal. This wedding show is specifically geared toward couples, complete with a fashion show, guest speakers and exclusive tours of Port Saint John Venues.

The event takes place on September 7th at 111 Water Street – home of the Port’s state-of-the-art cruise terminal and wedding venue. Doors open at noon.

We sat down with Haley Evans, wedding planner extraordinaire and the owner of From Menus to Venues, to get some more information on the event.

Visit the website for details.

View More:

How is INSIGHTS different than other wedding shows?

  The Insights Wedding Fair was designed specifically with engaged couples in mind. After he pops the question, what next? Insights will help you answer your wedding planning questions, while getting expert advice from top of the line wedding professionals. Unlike other wedding shows, there will be more than just a wedding supplier trade show and fashion show at Insights. Engaged couples will also get a chance to have a free consultation with a certified wedding planner during our Speed Planning Activity, there will be guest speakers from the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and thousands of dollars worth of prizes to be won. There will also be a Bridal Blowout Sale where past brides will be selling their new and lightly loved wedding decor, accessories and of course, wedding gowns! This will be New Brunswick’s wedding event of the year. 

What will exhibitors be showing off?

The exhibitors at Insights have been handpicked because they are great at what they do. At our supplier trade show, you’ll find exhibitors offering samples, giving out coupons, having contests and more! We have exhibitors in every category, so if you’re looking for a photographer, decorator, wedding planner, DJ… we have it all! 

What should every guest bring with them?

All guests should bring the following with them to the event:

  •      Their advance ticket – Purchasing your ticket in advance will not only save you time at the door, but will enter you in more contests and you’ll receive a free swag bag if you’re one of the first 100 people at the event with an advanced ticket. Tickets can be purchased online at or in person at Port Saint John, Garnett’s Bridal Boutique and Inspire Collections. 
  •      A pen & date book to keep track of appointments and events
  •      A check book and some cash – you never know which vendors you will fall in love with! Be ready to book them on the spot to save your date. You will also want to have some cash for the Bridal Blowout Sale and to grab a drink at the bar! 
  •      The wedding party – Bond with your wedding party at Insights! It’s always good to have others with you to help make decisions when it comes to purchases and vendors selection. Bring along your bridesmaids, your mom and your groom at have a fun day out at Insights! 

Give us a hint at some of the highlights.

  •       Speed Planning – Step up for a free consultation from a certified wedding planner! Similar to Speed Dating, our Speed Planning activity will allow couples to get professional advice from an expert in the field. 
  •       Venue Tours – Get up close and personal with Port Saint John during a tour of the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal. 
  •       Guest Speakers – Danielle and Tracey from The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada will be at the event giving their best wedding planning tips and tricks!
  •       Prizes – We are giving away thousands of dollars worth of prizes, including one grand prize wedding package valued at over $6,000!
  •       Fashion Show – We will be featuring some hot outfits for the whole wedding party on the runway! The best part of the show is that all of the dresses and gowns you see on the runway will be available for sale at the event! Almost all of the wedding gowns for sale are under $500. There will also be bridesmaids dresses, flower girls and ring bearer outfits, mother of the bride outfits and more.  

How do wedding shows help brides/grooms plan their special day?

      Wedding shows give couples a one stop shopping and wedding planning experience. Wedding planning can be very overwhelming and most couples don’t know where to start. Wedding shows allow couples to meet a ton of wedding vendors and get a lot of planning information all in one day under one roof. On top of that, weddings shows are a great way to try and win prizes and get discounts from vendors. Many exhibitors will be offering special deals to guests at the show! Whether you are newly engaged or have most of your planning done, you won’t want to miss Insights.


Insights: A Wedding Fair

Location: Marco Polo Cruise Terminal, 111 Water Street

Date: September 7, 2014

Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm


Ever After Event (Wedding Blowout Sale)

Location: Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal, 333 Water Street

Date: September 7, 2014

Time: Doors open at 4:00pm


For more information:


When a lobster waves at you on your way to lunch – that’s how you know it’s cruise season.

Walking down Water Street, the Steamers lobster isn’t the only thing moving and shaking. Passengers are leaving the cruise terminal, sporting cameras and sneakers, eager to explore the city. Tour operators are taking people to experience the region. Businesses are opening their doors, offering local treats.

The cruise season officially kicked off on August 2, with the arrival of the Carnival Splendor. Holland America Line’s Veendam arrived on August 18.

This season, after last year’s quarter-century celebration, is not without its milestones.

In September, we mark our 1000th ship call. As well, there is a record number of double-ship days, 2 triple-ship days and seven inaugural calls.

“My office window looks right onto these ships when they arrive. Some of them even tower past the terminal, filled with passengers waiting to experience our community. Saint John has a lot to offer and I’m proud to live in a place where newcomers get such a warm welcome,” Jim Quinn, president and CEO of Port Saint John, said.

Here are some fast facts for this cruise season:

  • 19 different vessels from cruise lines all over the world.
  • 11 double-ship days
  • 2 triple-ship days
  • 7 inaugural calls
  • The Royal Princess, christened by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, will be calling for the first time

“We may not be doing a season’s worth of anniversary celebrations, but every cruise day is like a party here. Our talented tour operators, greater community and cruise stakeholders offer passengers an experience they just can’t get elsewhere – genuine hospitality, remarkable scenery and centuries of history,” Betty MacMillan, Manager of Cruise Development added.

Cruise season ends on October 27, with the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. Next year, Port Saint John will get our first experience as a homeport, with the arrival of Blount Small Ship Adventures. For more on that, visit us at Port Saint John and Blount Small Ship Adventures here.

For continual news about cruise in Saint John follow on Facebook by liking the Cruise Saint John page and to check when ships are arriving visit the cruise schedule.

Port Saint John welcomes new board members

Glenn Cooke, of Cooke Aquaculture, comes to the board by federal appointment. His vision, entrepreneurship and business savvy has been recognized by the business community in Canada and overseas. Cooke Aquaculture is the largest fully integrated and independent salmon farming company in North America.

Kathryn Craig comes to the board by municipal appointment. Craig has a wealth of experience on boards, along with strategic planning savvy. She is also skilled in the area of labour relations and working with all levels of government.

Cooke was named one of 50 Top Atlantic Canadian CEOs in 2007 and has since made the list for several consecutive years. In 2006, Cooke Aquaculture was named one of the 50 Best Managed Companies in Canada and has been renamed to the list every year since. He’s also received various export, entrepreneurship and community development awards.

Glenn Cooke

Under Cooke’s leadership, Cooke Aquaculture was the first company in North America to offer products that were certified to the internationally recognized Seafood Trust label. The company has also played an active role in research and science on the topics of DNA traceability, broodstock development, fish health and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture.

Craig, former Executive Director of FacilicorpNB, has also received the designation of one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs, winning in 2003 during her time as CEO of Fundy Linen Service Inc. There, she was responsible for the overall operation and financial well being of the largest non-profit central laundry in Eastern Canada. During that time, several green initiatives were undertaken, including conversion to natural gas, updated ventilation system, and new C.B.W. washers.

Kathy Craig

She began her studies in nursing, later earning a Masters in Business from the University of New Brunswick, along with taking the Chartered Director Program from McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business.

Craig’s board experience includes: City of Saint John Shared Risk Pension Plan, Saint John Industrial Parks Limited and Saint John Board of Trade. She was also a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Development and was a member of Government of New Brunswick Employers Negotiating Team for CUPE 1252 

Smart buoy for a safer Port

Buoys are a Maritime fixture; bright colours, bobbing in the water, helping seafarer’s navigate.
Now, they are getting smarter.

Port Saint John just announced $91,000 in funding for a SmartATLANTIC Buoy.

This is another step toward strengthening our country’s tanker safety system. The buoy will provide accurate and real-time meteorological/hydrological data that will be used to produce high-resolution forecasts of weather and sea conditions. The data will be used to help guide vessels more safely to their destination, as well as contribute to valuable scientific research on the Bay of Fundy.

“As with any major industry, ports come with their share of risk. We have an excellent record of safety at Port Saint John and a commitment to keeping that record strong,” Peter Gaulton, chairman of Port Saint John’s Board of Directors, said at the announcement.

In addition to the Port’s contribution, Transport Canada will Transport Canada will contribute up to $185,000 under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund. The Province of New Brunswick is also contributing $91,000, with AMEC Environment & Infrastructure providing in-kind services of $30,000. The Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association will be providing in-kind services of $8,000.

The total project cost is approximately $417,000.

The SmartATLANTIC buoy will also help minimize the potential for incidents, reduce the risk of an oil spill, and help support the region’s ship-based trade in energy products such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petroleum products.
This announcement is the second contribution to risk-management the Port has invested in this year. In May, the Port announced $75,000 in funding for the Saint John Fire Department’s Grandview Avenue training facility – complete with a ship rescue training module.

The marine transportation community, commercial fishers, recreational boaters and researchers will be able to access this highly valuable, real-time information to more accurately forecast wind, wave and ocean currents. It will not only help improve safe navigation and environmental protection, but it will also maximize the efficiency of commercial traffic using the Port Saint John, and lower costs for the marine industry in the area.

“Advancing technology is critically important to a growing port because it allows for more efficient and cost-effective operations for vessels arriving and departing Port Saint John,” Jim Quinn, president and CEO of the Port, said.