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Lakes shipping season picks up steam

Thunder Bay Port Authority reports 17 per cent increase in traffic
Ship loading

Cargo volumes through the Port of Thunder Bay are ahead of last year’s pace.

The Thunder Bay Port Authority said grain volumes this year as 10 per cent higher than during the same period last year with overall shipments of all goods up 17 per cent.

Shipments recorded in August were slightly above the 10-year average for the month, registering at 750,000 tonnes.

Potash and coal led the way, offsetting a slight dip in grain movements for the month.

The authority said a “good mix of cargoes have been crossing port docks this season, including 10-year-high potash volumes and a variety of project cargoes.”

Keefer Terminal, the general cargo facility, handled westbound windmill parts, electrical transformers, pressure vessels, steel and rail, including the arrival during the first week of September of modular structures for a hotel project in Western Canada.

More such “project cargoes” are scheduled to arrive this month.

The authority has, so far, recorded 213 domestic and foreign-flagged ships in the port this year, compared to 184 at the same time in 2016.

As summer turns to fall, an influx of vessels is anticipated in September as the Prairie grain harvest begins arriving at the grain elevators at the western Lake Superior port.