Shipping volumes at the Port of Algoma are up considerably in 2017. The subsidiary of Essar Ports Global Holdings has seen a substantial jump in third-party cargo traffic in the first half of the year.
As of August 10, 2017, non-Algoma-related volumes stood at 141,453 tons, compared to 32,461 tons in all of 2016. The number of ships carrying third-party cargo at the port also went up from two in 2016 to seven between April and August 2017. With more than four months to go until the end of the shipping season, these numbers are expected to grow further.
“While last year’s third-party cargo came in towards the end of the season, we’ve had an early start to 2017,” said Anshumali Dwivedi, CEO of the Port of Algoma. “This is an encouraging sign and demonstrates our company’s reduced dependence on Algoma, our anchor customer. It’s also leading to employment opportunities at local support services firms, which is good for the Sault Ste. Marie economy.”
The increased third-party traffic at the Port of Algoma is primarily related to shipments from manufacturing and mineral-production companies. With the low cost of delivering cargo via water, regional firms can benefit from utilizing the marine transportation infrastructure. Given the opportunities and efficiencies generated by the port, the project is helping Sault Ste. Marie capitalize on future development initiatives, such as a proposed regional chromite-processing plant related to the Ring of Fire.
“The Port of Algoma has the potential to change the economic landscape of our community and entire region,” said Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Business Development for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “We’ll continue to work with our partners at the Port of Algoma to advance this infrastructure project, which will generate opportunities for local businesses and, ultimately, create jobs.”
Meanwhile, the Port of Algoma is actively involved in community development initiatives. This past weekend, for example, the company was a sponsor for the Garden River Pow-Wow. The port is also a title sponsor for the Batchewana First Nation Golf Tournament of Champions on August 25 at Silver Creek Golf Course. As well, earlier this year, the firm was a gold sponsor for the Garden River teams that competed in the 2017 Little Native Hockey League tournament in Mississauga, Ontario.