THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Larger modern lake freighters mean more tonnage but fewer ships at the Port of Thunder Bay. However, that means greater tonnage of shipping for the Port.
The Port of Thunder Bay handled more than 1.1 million metric tonnes (MT) of cargo last month – the largest tally of any July since 1997. The haul was fueled by continued strength in grain shipments and increases in other bulk commodities.
It was a good month for coal shipments. Just under 150,000 MT of the product crossed Thunder Bay docks in July, the most of any month since 2012. Saskatchewan potash volumes for the month nearly doubled from last year. Other dry bulk shipments in July included inbound road salt for regional use.
Vessel calls for the month and year are in line with last year’s numbers, with more foreign Saltie vessels being offset by fewer domestic Lakers. The Laker numbers are indicative of the lake fleet’s larger, more efficient vessels that have rolled out over the last few years.