Thunder Bay

2019 shipping season strong: Port of Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay's 2019 shipping season was a strong one, with the city's port handling more cargo than it has in the last several years.

Season wrapped up on Jan. 12

The Port of Thunder Bay says its 2019 shipping season was a strong one. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

Thunder Bay's 2019 shipping season was a strong one, with the city's port handling more cargo than it has in the last several years.

The 2019 season wrapped up on Jan. 12. According to the Port of Thunder Bay, about 9.3 million metric tonnes of cargo came through during the season, the most since 2014.

The port said grain volumes increased by 500,000 metric tonnes this season: about 7.9 million metric tonnes of grain was handled at the port in 2019, compared to about 7.4 million in 2018.

Coal shipments reached a seven-year high, with about 779,000 metric tonnes coming through the port. In 2018, the port handled about 700,000 metric tonnes of coal.

White potash shipments, meanwhile, remained above-average for the third year in a row, with the port seeing about 399,000 metric tonnes.

The 2019 season also saw an increase in both foreign and domestic ships at the Thunder Bay port; seasonal totals show 316 domestic vessels and 113 foreign vessels called at the city.

Three domestic vessels are wintering at Keefer Terminal, where they'll undergo refurbishment in advance of the 2020 season, which the port expects will be another strong one, partly due to increased wind turbine cargo destined for western Canada.

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