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Grain marine shipments surge through Thunder Bay

Port ready to handle strong Prairie crop this fall
Tbay port 4
Port of Thunder Bay photo

For only the second time in twenty years, grain volumes shipped through the Port of Thunder Bay in July surpassed 800,000 tonnes.

The surge brings the grain tally at the port in line with the previous season and four per cent greater than the five-year average.

The jump in grain shipments demonstrates the benefit of Thunder Bay’s available capacity, said Port of Thunder Bay CEO Tim Heney in an Aug. 3 news release.

“The grain elevators in Thunder Bay typically operate well below their capacity. The extra available capacity is critical in times of surge, when farmers are delivering large quantities of grain to market. The Canadian grain industry needs an outlet that can efficiently handle those surges, and Thunder Bay delivers.”

Above-average grain carryover on Prairie farms and an anticipated strong 2018 harvest indicate a potentially strong fall for grain movement at the port.

In July, total port cargo shipments topped 1 million tonnes with shipments of coal and potash remaining ahead of average, although somewhat behind last year’s standout volumes.

Project cargo volumes continued at a strong pace, with shipments of modular buildings, steel and windmills keeping cargo handlers busy during the month.