Inside Logistics

Port of Toronto reports strong 2020

For the fourth consecutive year, the Port of Toronto moved more than two million tonnes of bulk and general cargo


March 17, 2021
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For the fourth consecutive year, the Port of Toronto moved more than two million tonnes of bulk and general cargo.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was another strong year for steel imports and cement. It also saw the return of containers, with shipments arriving from Montreal.

In 2020, 174 cargo vessels visited the Port of Toronto, offloading a range of containers, bulk, project and general cargo products. Overall, the Port moved 2,208,358 tonnes of cargo, including road salt, sugar, cement, aggregate and steel.

With the Greater Toronto Area’s construction industry showing no signs of slowing down, the port recorded its highest cement cargo imports in 16 years with more than 728,600 tonnes delivered through the port last year. The Port also recorded an 11 percent increase in sugar imports, with 638,283 tonnes imported from Central and South America to support Toronto’s food and beverage industry.

In addition to importing 677,726 tonnes of salt and 92,072 tonnes of aggregate in 2020, the Port had another strong year for steel products such as steel coils, rebar, plates and rail from Sweden, Spain and Turkey, totalling more than 59,381 tonnes.

Return of containers

The Port saw the return of short-sea shipping, with the movement of 375 containers from the Port of Montreal in October 2020. Arrangements with Transport Canada are being made to ensure that the Port of Toronto can continue to support the region’s supply chain through short-sea shipping moving forward.

“The Port of Toronto experienced another strong year in 2020, with more than 2.2 million metric tonnes of cargo moving through the port and carrying much of the food, construction materials and other resources that the Greater Toronto Area needed to keep it moving during these challenging times,”

“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw an increase in imports of sugar and cement last year, as well as having another strong year in steel cargo transiting through the port to Toronto’s booming construction sites,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto.

“In 2021 and beyond, the Port of Toronto will continue to provide Canadian and international businesses with a convenient, cost-effective and environmentally-responsible way of bringing goods into Canada’s largest city.”

Further, the Port of Toronto saw the first of several bridge spans arrive from Nova Scotia via tug/barge for Waterfront Toronto’s Villiers Island project, and was critical in providing berthing for marine equipment working on the City of Toronto Ashbridge’s Bay Sewer Treatment Plant new outfall project.

In addition to its economic impact, increased imports through the Port of Toronto has a positive impact on the environment given the 2.2 million tonnes of cargo delivered by ship last year took approximately 54,000, 40-tonne trucks off Toronto’s roads and highways.

Since 1793, the Port of Toronto has served as Toronto’s gateway to the St. Lawrence Seaway and to marine ports around the world. Serving primarily as a bulk cargo destination, the port boasts a unique location minutes from Toronto’s downtown and moves goods from countries as far away as Germany, South Korea, China, Brazil, Australia, South America and the United States. Marine cargo arriving and managed at the Port of Toronto generated $377.7 million in economic activity and 1,566 jobs in Ontario in 2017.