More than two million tonnes of cargo were delivered last year through the port of Toronto, marking an eight-year high for marine imports and confirming the port’s position as a key contributor to Toronto’s transportation infrastructure and economic strength. More than 160 ships visited the port in 2014, resulting in the highest level of imports since 2007 and representing a 30 per cent increase over 2013 tonnages. The cargos carried into the port last year included stone and aggregate imports which increased by 50 per cent, and salt imports which increased nearly 150 per cent, over the year prior.
“From the salt used on our roads to keep drivers safe to the concrete used in Toronto’s booming construction industry, the goods delivered through Toronto’s port have a significant impact on the people, projects, and industries of Toronto,” said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. “This eight-year high underlines the importance of maintaining and marketing the operation of the port.” Increased imports through the port has a positive impact on the environment and traffic congestion, given that the more than two million tonnes of cargo delivered by ship took approximately 50,000, 40-tonne trucks off Toronto’s already congested roads and highways.
In addition to the increase in cargo delivered through the port, six cruise ships carrying a total of more than 2,900 passengers visited PortsToronto’s Cruise Ship Terminal in 2014, nearly five times the number of passengers who visited Toronto via the port the year prior. The 2015 cruise season is expected to be one of the Port’s busiest to date, with 15 ships bringing more than 3,500 visitors to Toronto from May through to October.
Since 1793, Port of Toronto has served as Toronto’s gateway to the St. Lawrence Seaway and to marine ports around the world. Before the introduction of the shipping container, and its use as the major means of moving non-bulk cargo, such items as automobiles, rubber and farm machinery were common cargo through the port. Now serving primarily as a bulk cargo facility, the port’s unique location minutes from downtown Toronto provides a network of intermodal links to road, rail and air transportation, allowing goods from overseas and the U.S. to flow in and out of the city.