The Products We Ship and Their Uses

Neptune Terminals has been shipping a variety of bulk commodities through our terminal in North Vancouver since 1970. These products include potash, steelmaking coal and phosphate rock.


Potash is a naturally occurring, water soluble crop nutrient that is crucial to agriculture worldwide. Potash is a major ingredient in commercial fertilizers, which typically contain potassium (from potash), nitrogen and phosphate.

Saskatchewan, Canada is the world’s largest producer of potash, producing about one quarter of the world’s supplies. While potash is particularly important to nations with large and growing populations to feed, such as Brazil, China, India and Indonesia, potash is imported by more than 100 countries worldwide.

Steelmaking Coal

The Canadian steelmaking coal handled at Neptune Terminals is used in the production of steel. Steelmaking coal is transported by rail from southeast British Columbia and northwest Alberta before being loaded onto ships at Neptune Terminals. Much of the coal we handle is destined for the steel mills of Korea, Japan and China.

Steel – and the coal used in the production of steel – plays a critical role in world for many of the items we rely on each day. Bicycles, rapid transit, vehicles, buildings and wind turbines to name a few. It is also one of the most commonly recycled products.

Phosphate Rock

Phosphate rock, an inert sand, is an essential plant nutrient and a key link in the global food chain, which helps feed the world.

Neptune imports Phosphate Rock for Agrium, which is shipped to Alberta by train for use in fertilizer production.

The product is similar to coarse beach sand and easiest to handle when dry, so phosphate rock is covered for transportation and storage.