Eastern ice latest obstacle to clearing Canada grain backlog
The Canadian Shipowners Association, which represents companies like Algoma Central Corp and Canada Steamship Lines, said this week that it was "extremely concerned" that Canadian Coast Guard ice-breakers would not be able to create and maintain the routes needed to move cargo to Canadian and American industries.
It may not help to ease the grain backlog that Thunder Bay terminals are mostly empty, after the railways focused their winter grain shipments on the British Columbia coast, a gateway to Asian buyers.
Thunder Bay has 1.2 million tonnes of storage capacity for grain, the most in North America, tracing back to busier times shipping to the former Soviet Union.
But only 230,000 tonnes of grain is currently in storage, well below average, and just one-fifth of capacity.
"There's lots of room," Heney said.
Port of Thunder Bay is also a conduit for coal, potash, forest products and manufactured goods.