Skip to content

Potash exports drive Thunder Bay port

Marine tonnage up 15 per cent at Lake Superior port
Windmill parts (June 2017)
Windmill parts being unloaded at the Port of Thunder Bay, June 2017

Cargo volumes through the Port of Thunder Bay at the halfway mark of the 2017 shipping season are 15 per cent above the 10-year average, especially on grain and potash shipments.

In its August newsletter, the port authority reports grain elevators have shipped about 350,000 tonnes more gain than usual.

Potash cargoes are moving at a record pace.

Volumes of the commodity spiked for the fourth straight month, said the port authority, more than the doubling the ten-year average tonnage.

The 87,000 tonnes of potash shipped during the month of July was the highest for that particular month since 1988.

The year-to-date shipments of potash have exceeded annual results for the last four seasons, with over five months to go before the shipping season closes for the winter.

Most potash shipments are heading to destinations in Brazil and Europe.

The port authority anticipates traffic cool off during August as there is typically a lull in grain shipments before the Prairie’s fall grain harvest begins.

Traffic over the dock at a Keefer Terminal remains steady this summer. Keefer is the port’s intermodal hub for large marine cargoes.

The authority reports Keefer has handled an assortment of inbound project cargoes, including windmill parts, electrical transformers, pressure vessels, and modular structures.

The largest shipment to date of structural steel and rail bound for Alberta was delivered to Keefer in June. This is a repeat cargo at the terminal that has grown significantly in volume since the first shipment in 2015.