THUNDER BAY – The demand for wheat globally is likely to generate record shipping volumes on the Great Lakes. The overall mild winter left Lake Superior with lower than usual ice coverage as well.
The Port of Thunder Bay reports, “International shipping is open in the Port of Thunder Bay. The Cyprus-registered M.V. Tufty became the first ocean-going “Salty” vessel to enter the Port this season, berthing at Richardson’s Main elevator Friday, April 10, 2020.
The season opened to domestic vessel traffic in March and strong grain shipments have been observed during the first few weeks. Tufty is taking on a load of amber durum grain bound for Italy. Global demand for durum and wheat has risen as consumers stockpile staple foods during lockdowns.
Tufty is mastered by Captain Denys Bushuyev. Chief Engineer is Oleksandr Shevchenko. In usual circumstances the pair would be welcomed to the city in a Top Hat ceremony where they would be thanked for opening Canada’s furthest inland port to international shipping for the season. The ceremony will not take place this year due to pandemic protocol. The marine shipping industry has implemented measures to prevent the potential spread of infection and enable the essential movement of food and supplies to consumers.
Tufty is owned and operated by Montreal-based Canfornav. With a fleet of 40 vessels, Canfornav is one of the largest ocean-going carriers calling the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway on a regular basis, transporting cargoes to and from worldwide destinations. The agent for the vessel is Lake Superior Shipping Ltd., ocean ship agents in Thunder Bay since 1959.