Western Canadian coal shipped domestically and internationally from the port of Thunder Bay is handled at Thunder Bay Terminals, a facility with significant infrastructure for dry bulk handling and storage. Averaging over 700,000 metric tonnes annually, coal is the terminal’s primary cargo, followed by potash. Product is railed to the facility via Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways, both of which service the site.


With outstanding cargo capacity, the facility is available to service other dry bulk producing industries, including agriculture. General Manager George Strandberg says the site’s size of over 200 acres is a strategic advantage. “The facility has 11 million tonnes of throughput capacity and 2 million tonnes of ground storage, providing for flexibility of various products,” pronounces Strandberg, “Thunder Bay Terminals also has exceptional loading and unloading rates.”

The coal handling system provides for the unloading of 120 car unit trains using a single barrel rotary dumper at 4,000 tonnes per hour. Coal can be reclaimed from storage at a rate of 6,000 tonnes per hour and transferred to the 250-metre dock, which accommodates standard Seaway-size vessels. The bridge-type shiploader is capable of loading vessels at a rate of up to 8,000 tonnes per hour.

Thunder Bay Terminals maintains a separate dry-bulk handling system, generally used for potash, that can accommodate a variety of other free-flowing bulk commodities including urea, grains and agricultural products. Trains of up to 120 bottom-dump hopper cars can be handled via a dedicated loop track. After dumping, product is directed via a conveying system to the common dock conveyor and shiploader.

Thunder Bay Terminals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Russel Metals Inc. has been in business for over 30 years. In addition to its strategic location, modern facilities and enthusiastic employees, Strandberg gives credit to two of the company’s major stakeholders. “Thunder Bay Terminals services a dedicated customer base and is able to do so with the commitment of its supply chain partners.”