THUNDER BAY – There has been no single issue that has impacted the start of the shipping season in Thunder Bay.
The weather, the bumper crop from the 2013 growing season, the shortage of grain shipping cars are impacting the issues of shipping.
Mark Hemmes on Grain Market
The ice depth in the lake, and the mechanical issues with some of the ice breaking vessels has impacted the season. Shipping is expected to be about three to four weeks behind this year.
“We are getting to the point in our shipping season where we are just starting to deal with the bumper crop,” stated Mark Hemmes, the President of Quorum Corporation.
“We go to over 1000 destinations, including Thunder Bay, Churchill, Prince Rupert and Vancouver. Thunder Bay is the second port in terms of the amount of tonnage of grain shipped,” stated Hemmes.
Thunder Bay will do in a long weekend as much shipping as the Port of Churchill can do in a season.
Hemmes told a full house audience at the Victoria Inn today that the issues for slower grain shipping this year started to have problems with a rail derailment last summer in Edson Alberta. That put the railway behind the eight ball, and started a domino effect on shipping of grain.
That problem has been solved now as the Order in Council has directed the railways to move on getting the grain moving.
Overall, the prediction for shipping in Thunder Bay of grain is for a year with more tonnage and more ships.
The US Coast Guard Icebreaker Morro Bay suffered a breakdown.
NetNewsLedger will have video from the luncheon up shortly.