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Thunder Bay Tug Services Ltd. is a family-owned third generation tug company, serving Port of Thunder Bay since 1959. Founded by Elliott Dawson with one tug as a “bum” boat, or floating store for vessels. Later, after Elliott’s son Gerry Dawson became the company’s owner in 1983, services were expanded and presently include five tugs and two barges. Gerry’s son Nathan joined the company in 2002, sharing his father’s and grandfather’s passion for tugs and Lake Superior from an early age.

The company is proud to employ captains in the Port who are among the most experienced and who have a reputation for providing competent and safe ship assistance to both Lake and ocean-going vessels. Thunder Bay Tug Services provides marine contracting and spill response services to industry in and around the port and surrounding area and, over the years, has assisted many boaters in distress.

Lake Superior Shipping Ltd., the first foreign ship agency in Thunder Bay, was established in 1959 by Sandy S. Henderson when the first ocean-going ship arrived in Thunder Bay in 1959 after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Prior to the opening of the Keefer Terminal, Mr. Henderson leased Shed #7 on the Kaministiquia River from Canadian Pacific Railway, moving the lake side walls and strengthening the dock to make it suitable for discharging and loading foreign ships using the ship’s derricks.

In those early days, cargoes included inbound cargoes such as steel products, automobiles and farm tractors from Western Europe and the U.K., and outbound cargoes such as bagged flour for West African ports, as well as bulk grains from the many grain elevators in operation at that time.

Today, with offices in the Keefer Terminal, Lake Superior Shipping Ltd. is operated by the founder’s son, Sandy G. Henderson B.A. and grandson, Jonathan A. Henderson B.A.

Recognizing a local need for the installation of communications towers, Jeff Helget established Tower Light Limited in 1989 to erect towers and antennas in the area, and to provide maintenance and repair services. More than twenty years later, the company continues to thrive and is continuously expanding and diversifying its offerings as needs arise in the region.

Tower Light provides all of the necessary on-site services such as on-site structure unloading, construction, assembly and erection for both new and existing structures, and has diversified into providing crane services, making a variety of equipment available for rent, including mobile cranes, rough terrain cranes and boom trucks. Tower Light’s crane services benefit marine operations, particularly in facilitating truck and railcar transfers.

Tower Light Limited is located in Harbour Park, adjacent to Keefer Terminal in the port of Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay Shipping Inc. offers a full range of port services customized for clients’ specific vessel and cargo requirements. Established in 2010, Thunder Bay Shipping is a new player on the waterfront scene in name only. President and Managing Director William Hryb has  been associated with the shipping industry since 1975, operating in executive managerial positions as a ship agent. His son David Hryb has joined the company as an agency representative.

Thunder Bay Shipping represents shipowners, operators, charterers and shippers worldwide.

Lakehead Shipping Company Limited was founded by Roly Mann at the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, to provide ship agency services to the maritime industry in Thunder Bay. The company has changed hands over the years and today is owned by Logistec Corporation, a Canadian marine and environmental services company, whose head office is located in Montreal.

Lakehead Shipping is managed locally by Jennifer Bennett, who has been with the company for more than ten years. The company attends to and coordinates the activities involved to bring a ship to the allocated berth in port, and for loading and/or unloading its cargo. Such vessels include heavy-lift vessels, tugs, barges, tankers, cruise ships and, of course, bulk-cargo vessels.

Enjoying an excellent rapport with ship service providers in the Port, Lakehead Shipping can deliver shipowners with all they require for a smooth port call at competitive prices. In operation day and night, Lakehead Shipping prepares for the arrivals of vessels under its care, weeks in advance, ensuring that all concerned are ready for the ship’s arrival. Port agents are the contact for government officials, pilots, tug companies, terminal operators and all other services required by a vessel while in port.

Empire Stevedoring Ltd’s employees have been serving customers in the port of Thunder Bay for over 50 years. Traditionally, Empire has been responsible for supervising the loading of ocean-going vessels with grain commodities at facilities operated by Canada’s major grain companies. During the past several years Empire has diversified its service offering, becoming involved in the discharging of project cargoes. Empire supervises the offloading of shipments originating in Europe and headed to Western Canada to be used in infrastructure projects. The majority of these shipments consist of wind-energy components manufactured by companies such as Alstom Power Inc., Siemens Wind Power, and Vestas, destined for renewable energy projects.

Empire Stevedoring provides professional service to a world-wide customer base. It reviews its service offerings continuously to ensure that its stevedoring services are the most efficient and reliable.

Now that Thunder Bay Port Authority has acquired a new crane that provides lift and reach capabilities that the port did not have previously, Empire Stevedoring is looking forward to a new era in cargo-handling and to being a partner in the Port’s bright future.