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Port of Thunder Bay re-brands as The Superior Way West

New look aimed at raising awareness of the port in western Canada.
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Tim Heney Greg Arason

THUNDER BAY – In an effort to increase brand awareness in Canada’s west, the Port of Thunder Bay has a new tagline and logo.

The port is now labeling itself as “The Superior Way West” and has adopted a new logo featuring a maple leaf, which officials hope will create more of a buzz about shipping through Thunder Bay, sometimes an afterthought in provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Chief executive officer Tim Heney said often while traveling in western Canada or Europe, he’s asked where Thunder Bay is located and what capabilities it has when it comes to its shipping capacity and the type of cargo that can be handled.

Some even asked if the port was still in existence.

That was a clear indication the port needed a boost, despite topping nine million tonnes in cargo the past several years.

“It’s been our initiative to raise that profile for some time now and we think this is a great tool to use to do that.”

Heney said their primary initiative moving forward is to increase those total and diversify the type of cargo being shipped through the port.

“How we do that is we reach out to ongoing western Canadian projects that are going on, like the oil sands, wind farms and construction projects and then we go to the supplier on the other end and hook the two together … and put together a package that creates value to the shipper through Thunder Bay,” Heney said.

“And I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that and we’re now becoming recognized for that. We’re trying in a way to promote our success with this logo.”

To develop the logo they interviewed customers and other stakeholders in Canada and Europe and asked them their views of the port, and put together the messaging in the logo.

Port of Thunder Bay board chair Greg Arason said after 30 years, it was time for a new look.

“Our business has changed,” he said. “We’re becoming much more of a two-way traffic port and the focus on serving western Canada, both as an importer and an exporter is what caused us to look at changing our brand and our image.”

Arason said it should help open new business opportunities.

“I think the importance of Thunder Bay is often lost on people living further west and we truly are their port. That’s part of our objective here, to send that message.”