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Grain on the move

Fast start to opening of shipping season in Thunder Bay
CSL Welland
CSL Welland loads grain at Richardson International’s Current River elevator in Thunder Bay in late March.

Early season grain shipments through the Port of Thunder Bay are already above the high-water mark for March.

The western Lake Superior port opened March 24 and more than 260,000 of cargo, mostly grain, have been loaded aboard ships; well above the 10-year average of 117,000 tonnes.

In an April 4 news release, the Thunder Bay Port Authority said moving that much volume, this soon, depends on year-to-year weather and ice conditions on the Great Lakes.

The majority of the cargo that moved during the month was leftover grain stored in the port’s elevators from last year’s Western grain harvest.

Other cargoes that transitted through the port were an outbound load of coal and an inbound load of road salt.

The port authority anticipates steady ship traffic through April as “significant grain stocks” remain from the 2016 harvest in Thunder Bay and in storage on the Prairies.

Keefer Terminal, the port’s project cargo hub, anticipates a ship load of electrical transformers in mid-April.