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June 1, 2015: Port of Thunder Bay Off to Strong Start

Grain shipments through the Port of Thunder Bay are off to their strongest start since 1997.  As of May 31, more than 1.8 million metric tonnes of grain have been loaded at the port’s elevators.  The May 31 five-year average for grain is 1.4 million metric tonnes. 

Grain, the port’s mainstay cargo, continues to surge following dramatic volume increases last year.  In 2014, the Port recorded its highest cargo volumes in 16 years due to the swell in shipments of Western Canadian grain.  There is no sign of slowing down as prairie farmers experienced their second-highest grain production in history in 2014, following the record production set in 2013. 

The Port of Thunder Bay handled nearly 1.3 million tonnes of cargo during May – 37% more than the 5-year average for the month.  A wide variety of cargoes passed through the port during May including coal, potash, liquid petroleum, wood pellets, road salt, windmill components and steel.  Potash shipments were particularly strong.  At 72,000 metric tonnes, potash volumes were 50% higher than the 5-year average for the month.