Solid grain exports continue through Thunder Bay

June's handle includes record-large CP grain train

South West Terminal’s Antelope facility, about 45 km southwest of Swift Current, Sask., last month set the record for the largest grain train loaded and launched on the Prairies from a single point of origin, with this 224-car train of durum wheat. (

MarketsFarm — Grain shipments through the Port of Thunder Bay continue to run at a strong pace, with season-to-date volumes of 3.2 million tonnes, up 35 per cent from the five-year average, according to an update from the port.

A total of 866,066 tonnes of grain were shipped through the port, located on the northern shores of Lake Superior, in June 2020 — up by about 150,000 tonnes from the same month the previous year and accounting for 88 per cent of all business at the port.

Increased demand from Europe and the Middle East for Canadian grain was behind the solid movement, as many countries look to shore up domestic food supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the update.

Railcar unloads of grain in Thunder Bay were up by 10,000 cars this crop year-to-date, but were flat at West Coast ports, according to the news release.

In early June, port officials said, South West Terminals at Antelope, Sask., loaded Canadian Pacific Railway’s longest ever single-origin grain train: 224 hopper cars carrying 22,223 tonnes of durum wheat to Thunder Bay.

Recent investments by CP have increased hopper car capacity from 93 to 102 tonnes, well above the traditional boxcar capacity of 55 tonnes.

Grain shipments via Thunder Bay terminals are expected to continue at above-average levels through the summer, port officials said in their release.

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