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A shipping vessel winters at Keefer Terminal in Thunder Bay (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

First ships to arrive within a week

By Adam Riley Mar 18, 2024 | 6:30 AM

It won’t be very long before the waters beyond and inside the breakwall in the Thunder Bay harbour will see shipping vessels in them once again.

With limited ice cover on Lake Superior and the ice that remains melting quickly Port of Thunder Bay Chief Executive Officer Chris Heikkinen says he’s already seen the list of the first vessels set to arrive.

“Far as March goes, we’re opening a few days ahead of schedule, which is a combination of very favourable weather conditions enabling the ships passage through the Great Lakes, and also those locks are opening a few days early, so its looking like a very good start to the shipping season in Thunder Bay.”

The Soo Locks are slated to be opened, according to Heikkinen, on March 22nd, with the first vessels arriving within 24 to 36 hours of that opening.

Last year the first “Laker” arrived on March 27th to open the shipping season, with the first “Salty” arriving a little over a week later.