Canada’s port of Thunder Bay (Ontario) said that steel, wind turbine products, and other project cargo, such as items for the mining sector, became familiar arrivals at the Keefer Terminal last year. 

Chris Heikkinen, who recently became director of business development and terminal operation at the port of Thunder Bay, said: “It’s mostly steel pipe, steel rail and structural steel… We’ve been shipping steel west for about six shipping seasons now and every year the volume increases.” 

The port also specialises in grain shipments, although 2022 exports tracked behind the previous year due to a poor crop in 2021. That being said, the port has been a beneficiary of the shifting sourcing patterns arising from the war in Ukraine. “We’re moving a lot more Saskatchewan potash east into the seaway system to Europe and South America … which would have previously sourced their potash from Russia or Belarus,” Heikkinen said. In 2021, the port shipped just over 600,000 tonnes of potash, and that figure jumped to 1.2 million tonnes in 2022.  

Heikkinen said there are some big projects planned for the port in 2023, which involve infrastructure-renewal projects that are necessary to expand the port’s capacity to handle cargo. Pipe and other steel imports at the Keefer terminal are also shaping up well.