Port of Toronto records best year in more than a decade

It was the best year in more than a decade for the Port of Toronto, which moved 2,172,750 metric tons of cargo in 2017. The strong year in marine imports, along with a significant rise in cruise ship arrivals, confirms the port’s position as a vital part of Toronto’s economic infrastructure.

In 2017, 201 ships visited the port, bringing sugar, road salt, cement and aggregate directly into the heart of the city. At more than 2.1 million metric tons, overall port tonnage was up more than 16 percent in 2017, with cement cargo imports remaining strong for another year at more than 679,000 metric tons. Stone, aggregate and sand cargo levels continued to increase ending the year at 176,105 tons, while salt imports increased by 50 percent since 2016. Sugar imports were also strong with a 9 percent increase at more than 561,000 tons of raw sugar delivered via the port. Project cargo of 1,736 tons, which consisted of parts for a paper plant, was imported from Europe using three separate vessels.

In addition, the Port of Toronto’s popularity as a cruise ship destination continued with 16 passenger cruise ships carrying more than 5,600 passengers visiting PortsToronto’s Cruise Ship Terminal between May and October 2017. This represents a more than 120 percent increase in cruise ship traffic since 2016.

“As well as keeping drivers safe by helping to keep the city supplied with salt for the roads, the Port of Toronto also ensures the delivery of the concrete used to support the city’s booming construction industry, and the sugar used in the Toronto and area food and drink manufacturing industry. The goods delivered through Toronto’s port have a significant impact on industry in the city, and increasingly the passengers arriving aboard passenger cruise ships are having a positive impact on our tourism industry,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO, PortsToronto. “The Port of Toronto continues to provide Canadian and international businesses with a convenient, sustainable and cost-effective way to bring goods, and people, into the heart of the city.”

In addition to the economic impact, increased imports through the port have a positive impact on the environment and traffic congestion, given that 2.1 million tons of cargo delivered by ship took approximately 54,000, 40-ton trucks off Toronto’s already congested roads and highways. In fact, one ton of freight can travel 240 kilometers on a single liter of fuel by ship, whereas it can only travel 30 kilometers on the same amount of fuel by truck.

Maritime Editorial