Port of Windsor Tonnage Surges In 2013
The Port of Windsor had a record year in 2013, surpassing the 6 million tonne mark for the first time since the closure of the CP rail ferry in the late 1980's. Total cargo increased by 10.5% on a year-to-year basis reaching 6,029,393 tonnes this past season.
David Cree, President and C.E.O of the Windsor Port Authority stated 'This milestone was achieved because of significant gains in 3 major cargoes handled within the port. First and foremost, stone and construction aggregates increased by approximately 25% to reach almost 3 million tonnes. This huge increase was generated by major construction projects, primarily the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway. In addition, petroleum products, which are handled by Sterling Fuels Ltd., increased by 13.6% and grain which is shipped through the ADM Grain Terminal increased by over 26%."
As noted, stone and construction aggregates increased by over 25% in 2013. These materials represented nearly 50% of the port's total throughput and are handled by CBM-St Mary's Cement, Coco Aggregates (Coco Group), Lafarge Canada Inc., Miller Aggregates Southwest (Miller Group) and Southwestern Sales Corporation Ltd. Mr. Cree stated "Obviously, we are very pleased with our 2013 results. Overall, the port is continuing to rebound from the global recession with construction aggregates leading the way and improvements in several other important cargo categories."
Dry bulk products, which consist predominantly of salt and cement, posted one of the few negative results in 2013 due to a significant decline in cement shipments. However, with the severe winter conditions being experienced throughout the Great Lakes basin, it is projected that salt shipments should increase significantly in 2014 and produce positive gains for the dry bulk category as a whole this year.
Lafarge Canada Inc., which is one of the Port Authority's major tenants, completed a major expansion of its construction aggregates terminal in 2012 to allow the company to meet the increased demand for stone and construction aggregates at the Rt. Hen. Herb Gray Parkway. In partnership with the Windsor Port Authority and the Essex Region Conservation Authority, part of this project includes the creation of over 800 feet of new fish habitat along the terminal's dock face. Mr. Cree noted that "This is one of the largest projects of its type ever in Essex County and is another example of our continuing our commitment to the environment and to our stewardship of the Detroit River."
Charles Pingle, Chairman of the Port Authority, summarized the year as follows: "We are particularly gratified by both the cargo and financial results which we were able to achieve in 2013. As we have noted in the past, almost all of the money we earn is re-invested in the community. In recent years, this has resulted in significant new development in Sandwich Towne, including construction of the new HMCS Hunter Naval Reserve Facility, our new office building and the expansion of the Sterling Fuels and Lafarge Aggregates terminals. As both our short and long term projections remain positive, this will allow the Port Authority to continue to make significant investments in Windsor's future."
David Cree, President & CEO