Port of Toronto sustains record cargo volumes

 A record volume of steel products entered the port of toronto in 2018. photo: portstoronto
A record volume of steel products entered the port of toronto in 2018. photo: portstoronto

The Port of Toronto handled nearly 2.2 million metric tons of cargo in 2018, sustaining record-breaking performance from the previous year, as demand for construction materials in Canada’s largest city continued to be robust.

“From the cement and steel used to build and enhance infrastructure across the Greater Toronto Area to the sugar used to support the food and beverage industry, the goods delivered through the Port of Toronto are part of an important supply chain that services many of the city’s key sectors,” PortsToronto CEO Geoffrey Wilson said in a statement on March 7.

The inland port handled 2.18 million metric tons of cargo in 2018, up slightly over the 2.17 million metric tons of cargo in 2017, which represented the best volume in a decade. It also reported 14,391 metric tons of warehouse storage, the highest since 2011.

The cargo included 69,281 metric tons of steel products, the largest amount the port has seen in 20 years.

“The increase in steel received through the Port of Toronto can be attributed to the Greater Toronto Area’s booming construction industry, which continues to thrive, enhancing and building new infrastructure across the city and surrounding area,” said PortsToronto spokesperson Sarah Sutton.

Other construction materials included 610,400 metric tons of cement and 189,133 metric tons of stone, aggregate and sand. The port also recorded 735,948 metric tons of salt and 560,625 metric tons of sugar imports.

During 2018, 178 ships called on the Port of Toronto, compared to 201 in 2017.

The port noted that the 2.2 million metric tons of freight would have otherwise required 54,000 40-ton trucks.

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.