Sky/Keating

Signature Ad

Signature - McCullough

Signature/Redhead & Chef

Sky/Bestway

Big Box

News
Click here to see more
Subscribe
Community Calendar
Click here for full listings.
Poll
Which of the following do you feel is the most important issue for Thunder Bay voters in this election campaign?




Total Votes: 308
View Results Past Polls
User Submitted Photo Gallery
Submit Your Own Photos
2014-04-09 at 15:56

No grain spike

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
Need some Xtra Cash until next payday? We’ve got it here for you at Xtra Cash. 2 convenient locations on Dawson and Frederica. Click here for details

Government demands to move overstocked grain backlog out of Western Canada has not led to a huge spike at the Thunder Bay Port Authority.

CEO Tim Heney on Wednesday said grain elevators across the city remain only about one-third full on average, more than a month after federal legislation forced Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways to ship 500,000 tonnes of grain weekly or face hefty fines.

Heney said storage levels in Thunder Bay hit 387,000 tonnes in the last week.

“That’s lower than we were actually last year,” he said.

There has to be a market for the grain in order for it to be shipped to Thunder Bay, Heney added, which is why more hasn’t arrived.

“We don’t just move grain without that,” he said. “There are many pieces that have to match up. There are many things that have to match up in that puzzle to make it work.”

Once the shipping season opens, Heney expects to see more activity. Last week’s movement is a clear indication of that, he said.

“We did see a bit of a spike last week. It was up to about 500 rail cars in a week. And that’s a bit more than we did in the same week last year. But it’s not a huge spike. We could do, theoretically, probably up to 3,200 cars,” Heney said.

Mother Nature hasn’t helped either.

Heney said he expects a much later start to the shipping season than last year, ice continuing to clog up much of Lake Superior, forcing ships that would normally arrive in Thunder Bay to start hauling grain forced to remain in port.

“A lot of the orders they prefer to put straight on the ship, so you’re going to see more and more activity when get that going,” Heney said.

“It’s one of the toughest ice years on Lake Superior probably in 30 years, at least.”

There’s hope on the horizon, however.

“There’s the first convoy of ships leaving Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday for Thunder Bay. They’re going to be escorted by an ice breaker and they’ll be here probably around Monday,” he said. “So that’ll be the official opening of navigation when that happens.”

According to figures supplied by Heney, Manitoba grain elevators are operating at 112 per cent capacity, highest in the country. Elevators in Saskatchewan are filled to 91 per cent, while those in British Columbia are up to 87 per cent.

Saskatchewan represents the biggest overall load, with more than 2 million tonnes in storage, not quite triple Manitoba’s 756,000 tonnes.

Heney estimated the early onset of winter in 2013 meant about 200,000 tonnes of grain did not get shipped to market through Thunder Bay as planned.

“It has taken its toll.”

 

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error

Tbnewswatch.com(4)

Banner/Vector Construction

Comments

We've improved our comment system.
ranma says:
Doesn't matter if it gets here, it won't be leaving for some time still due to the ice.
4/9/2014 9:25:39 PM
New Democrat says:
From the article:

"“There’s the first convoy of ships leaving Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday for Thunder Bay. They’re going to be escorted by an ice breaker and they’ll be here probably around Monday,” he said. “So that’ll be the official opening of navigation when that happens.”"

The story was written on Wednesday. The ships should be here Monday, accompanied by an ice breaker. That's five days.
4/10/2014 5:05:38 AM
The Beaver..... says:
It seem that the government in its haste has without consideration and knowledge ruled against the Railroads.
The only knowledge Lisa Raid has about Railroading is that when she sits a Crossing and sees the Train go by "she says hm nice Train".The Railroads will take this to court and win just at the right time for the next Election
4/10/2014 7:27:38 AM
TBAY Duffer says:
Ice is an issue through-out the Seaway. The first Saltie into Toronto this week took 60 hours to get from Montreal to Toronto, about twice as long as normal. Captain Jacek Kurpiel received the ceremonial Beaver Hat awarded to the first Saltie into Toronto each year.

The M V Lubie ( Polish Ship ) also reported 1 metre thick ice in the Gulf of St Lawrence.
4/10/2014 10:19:54 AM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Forgot password?
Log In