THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – The Port of Thunder Bay is reporting on a solid shipping season for 2014. “The 2014 shipping season will come to a close next week when the final three Lakers depart Thunder Bay with loads of grain. The Port handled 9.3 million metric tonnes (MT) of cargo in 2014, an increase of 43% over 2013 and 29% over the 5-year average. Despite record-breaking spring ice conditions that set back the port’s opening date by an unprecedented four weeks, the port had its best year since 1998”.
The season featured a remarkable rebound for grain shipments in the Port of Thunder Bay.
Strong December volumes were led by 1.1 million MT of grain, bringing the final annual grain volume to 8.3 million MT -more than any shipping season since 1997.
There were 438 vessel calls to the port in 2014, compared to 331 in 2013 and the 5-year average of 374. This included 127 ocean vessel (Salty) calls -the most in a decade. Thunder Bay port facilities loaded more than 2.2 million MT of cargo onto Salties for direct export to international ports. This is more than twice the 5-year average of 950,000 MT.
As the season comes to a close, three Lakers are expected arrive in the Port of Thunder Bay where they will lay up for the winter.