Port of Toronto has record-breaking 2018, expands cruising and facilitates job growth

The Port of Toronto moved approximately 2.2 million metric tons of cargo in 2018, which represents another strong year in marine imports and further confirms the port’s position as a vital part of Toronto’s economic infrastructure.

In 2018, 178 ships visited the port, bringing sugar, road salt, cement, aggregate and steel directly into the heart of the city. Overall the port moved 2,179,795 metric tons of cargo in 2018, surpassing the record-breaking year experienced in 2017. Further, this is the third year in the last five years that the port has moved in excess of 2 million metric tons of cargo.

In 2018, the port received steel products including rebar, merchant bar, steel plate and coils totaling 69,281 metric tons, representing the highest level of steel product moved through the port in 20 years. In addition, the port recorded 14,391 metric tons in warehousing storage, the highest level recorded since 2011. Cement cargo imports remained strong at more than 610,400 metric tons and stone, aggregate and sand cargo levels continued to increase, ending the year at 189,133 metric tons. Salt and sugar imports at 735,948 and 560,625 metric tons, respectively, remained consistent with 2017 tonnages.

The port also welcomed 17 passenger cruise ships carrying approximately 6,000 passengers in 2018, highlighting the importance of the ever-growing Great Lakes cruise ship business and the role it plays in contributing to Toronto’s booming tourism industry. The port is expecting this number to more than double this year with 35 cruise ships coming to Toronto in the summer and fall of 2019.

“From the cement and steel used to build and enhance infrastructure across the Greater Toronto Area to the sugar used to support the food and beverage industry, the goods delivered through the Port of Toronto are part of an important supply chain that services many of the city’s key sectors. Additionally, the port’s cruise ship business continues to have a positive impact on tourism as more and more travelers are making their way through the Great Lakes and visiting Toronto,” said Geoffrey Wilson, PortsToronto Chief Executive Officer. “The Port of Toronto continues to play a vital role in Toronto’s transportation infrastructure network by providing businesses with a convenient, sustainable and cost-effective way to bring goods, and people, into the heart of the city.”

During this record-setting year, PortsToronto also welcomed Cinespace—the largest private owner, operator and developer of studios for film, television and digital media production in North America—to the port. Cinespace has leased Marine Terminal 51 and part of the Cruise Ship Terminal on a long-term lease to offer production offices and studio space to content creators. Netflix will use this space as part of its Toronto production hub that will bring thousands in jobs and revenue to the city. This complementary use is facilitated in parallel with traditional port operations and has proven to be successful in ensuring the full utilization of PortsToronto property.

Janenne Pung