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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An examination of the factors affecting international container traffic Valdes, Gonzalo C.


The objective of this study is to examine the factors affecting international container traffic, with special reference to the Port of Vancouver. In order to achieve this objective, a number of topics are examined. First, background information about West Coast container ports and trade flows and patterns of economic activity are provided. This is followed by an examination of the transportation system concept and by a presentation of important characteristics of current container ports. Then, the economics of container vessel size are discussed. The present institutional frameworks in Canada and in the United States are examined, followed by an examination of current trends of shipping services that may have an impact on container movements through the West Coast. Some of the factors that are relevant to shipping lines when assessing different route configurations are identified and a computer model is used to evaluate the attractiveness of two different configurations involving ports in the Pacific Northwest. The sensitivity of route choice to different parameters is examined. Finally, general conclusions are presented. It is suggested that the development of sophisticated intermodal services in the United States may have an important impact in the routing of Canadian cargo through American ports; the trend towards an increase in vessel size is also a factor that favours the concentration of services through the United States.

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