THUNDER BAY – The Port of Thunder Bay is reporting strong cargo volumes at the end of June. Shipments of Prairie grain, the port’s primary commodity, remained ahead of last year’s pace in June, continuing a three-month trend.
Year-to-date grain volumes of 2.5 million metric tonnes (MT) are 9% higher than the same period last year. This is largely attributable to a ten-fold increase (+200,000 MT) in canola exports through the port this season. Canola exports from Thunder Bay to Europe and Latin America have surged since China, Canada’s largest canola customer, closed its doors to Canadian shipments of the commodity. Canola shipped to China moves through the West Coast ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
As Western Canada’s most efficient grain port, Thunder Bay is equipped to handle grain surges with relative ease. The port has the fastest railcar and ship turnaround times and the largest operating grain storage capacity.
Other cargoes crossing the docks in Thunder Bay during June included coal and potash mined in Western Canada, liquid calcium chloride for local consumption and an inbound shipment of pulp and paper mill equipment. Overall cargo volumes are 7% higher than last year as of June 30.