Great Lakes marine transport moves over 160 million metric tons of cargo per year in lake freighters and “salties”, ships capable of both ocean and lake transport. This capability is absolutely vital to the well-being of Great Lakes ports like Thunder Bay and Duluth and to farmers and communities as far away as Alberta and across the U.S. Mid-west and Great Plains.
Autumn is traditionally the busiest time of the year for shipping, as evidenced when viewing the harbour in Lake Superior Ports like Thunder Bay and Duluth. On almost any day, ships are visible at anchor or at grain elevators and other port facilities as they load, or wait to load.
Year-to-date statistics for Great Lakes shipping as a whole show a substantial decline from 2015 figures but August statistics show a rise compared to the same month last year. This rise can be attributed to U.S. grain exports, iron ore shipments and raw materials for manufacturing. Viewed on their own, Port of Thunder Bay statistics show a slight decline from August, 2015. The Thunder Bay Port Authority says that cargo shipments to and from the port generate $369 million dollars of economic input and 1,800 jobs in Ontario.
Get the full picture about the August up-tick in Great Lakes shipping on the Chamber of Marine Commerce website.