Nestling down for the winter

The MV Frontenac will winter at Keefer Terminal this year.

The annual navigation season for the Port of Thunder Bay has officially

closed with this shipping season being the port’s most successful year

in more than 20 years.

“Annual cargo volumes tallied 10.2 million metric tonnes, exceeding the

10 million mark for the first time since 1997,” said Tim Heney, CEO of

the port authority, in a release to the Chronicle-Journal.

Heney says much of the success in 2020 is attributed to the port’s

strategic position as western Canada’s gateway to eastern markets for


“Thunder Bay is the western terminus of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence

Seaway System, a 3,700-kilometre marine highway for shipping bulk cargo

to and from North America via the Atlantic Ocean,” he said. “Overseas

grain demand drew over 150 foreign ‘saltie’ vessels to Thunder Bay for

grain in 2020 — the second-highest tally at the port since the seaway

opened in 1959.”

There has been several factors that contributed to the grain surge

which include, significant carry-over of grain stock from the large

2019 harvest and worldwide stockpiling of staple foods during the


Heney says greater diversification of crops, particularly in Manitoba,

is having an impact in Thunder Bay as well, as markets demand more


“Canola and soybean orders in Europe, for instance, have grown at a

higher rate than those for traditional durum wheat,” he said in the

statement. “The grain story bucks the downward trend of virtually every

other cargo on the seaway in 2020, signalling the important role the

port and western farmers play on the system.”

See the full story in the print and digital editions of The


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