Part of Your Community

The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) has 57 member companies with operations extending from Victoria, BC to the Alaska border.

Everyday, you can see signs of our members at work. Ships anchored in our harbours, giant cranes on the waterfront, massive grain silos, stacks of containers, and mountains of sulphur on Vancouver’s North Shore have all become part of the Canadian landscape.   

These icons are the obvious signs of BCMEA activity. What isn’t so obvious is the sheer volume of BCMEA member operations. Our members work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, moving goods to and from 150 countries. 


The variety and volume of goods is astounding. Those containers you see are used to transport everything from big screen TVs to bananas to exotic cars. Cargo ships move grain, lumber, salt, sulphur, coal and a variety of other commodities each and every day. 

Coal shipped through our ports fuels industrial steel production around the world. Wheat from Canada’s prairies can be delivered economically to customers halfway around the world.  

And it’s not just large companies that benefit from BCMEA operations.  Using containers, a Canadian produce wholesaler in Vancouver can ship organic bananas from Central America to stores across Western Canada and the United States at competitive prices. Not only that, they can track their container along the way, ensuring they’ll know when the shipment arrives at their East Vancouver warehouse. 

On average, BCMEA member workers handle almost 11 tonnes of goods per hour. That translates to 60 million tonnes of commodities a year.  Canada’s West Coast ports handle over $53 billion worth of goods annually. 

BCMEA member employees also service the tourism industry - our members operate the cruise ship terminals used by 1 million passengers a year.

In direct wages alone, BCMEA members inject $215 million dollars a year into the economy – that’s  around 5 million work-hours a year. Economic spin-offs reverberate throughout the community and across the country, with an estimated 129,500 jobs created across Canada. 

Everyday, in every household, Canadians are using goods and commodities shipped through one of our terminals. We’re proud to be part of the community, an integral part of the Canadian economy, and a transportation gateway to the world.

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