THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Nearly halfway into the 2014 shipping season, the Port of Thunder Bay continues to experience very strong grain shipments. Grain tonnage during July was up 70% over the monthly 5-year average, and 185% over the same month last year. The growth in shipping is coming as a result of the bumper crop across the Prairies in 2013, and a shortage, at the time, of grain cars.
After losing an entire month of the navigation season due to unprecedented spring ice conditions, the Port of Thunder Bay has rebounded dramatically with overall year-to-date cargo tonnage now sitting 16% ahead of the five-year average.
A recurring theme for the months of May, June and July has been the significant volumes of grain loaded at the port’s grain elevators as Western Canada’s record 2013 crop moves to market. Each of the past three months has established a 17-year high for grain tonnage. The grain tally for July was just over 1 million metric tonnes.
Another theme this year has been a marked increase in the number of Salties (ocean vessels) loading at the port. Between May 1 and July 31, 49 Salties departed the port with cargo loaded at one of Thunder Bay’s grain, coal or potash facilities. That is more than double the 21 loaded during the same time period last year.
Thunder Bay Port Authority projects an above-average August for grain with continuing strong Salty and Laker traffic.
If it has looked busier than usual out in Thunder Bay on Lake Superior with lots more vessels than usual, that is why.You can keep abreast of the latest Ships in Port on NetNewsLedger.