By Jerry Laird
Jan. 20, 2015
The smell of diesel and the rumble of idling motors fill the crisp winter air as a convoy of trucks winds its way from the gates of Charlottetown harbour to Water Street.
The sun is shining, but it is still a cold five degrees below zero, keeping drivers tucked in between the rigs.
The drivers drink coffee and wait while just beyond the gates a ship is being tied to the wharf.
The ocean freighter dwarfs a nearby fishing boat. It’s cargo-5,000 tons of fertilizer destined for the Cavendish Agra Services storage facility on Riverside drive, less than a kilometre away.
William McLean of Cavendish Agra services said there are seven contracted 10-wheelers and five company owned tractor-trailers that will haul around the clock.
McLean said Cavendish Agra has five ships that deliver for them, three to Charlottetown and two to Summerside.
“Even with two truck-loading stations it can take up to three days to empty the ship.“
Jason Ramsey, Manager for McCain Fertilizer, said they get 10 ships in annually.
Fertilizer is stored for the winter and custom blended to order when sold to farmers throughout the season, he said.
Ramsey said the market and weather dictate when the shipments come in.
“Most of it comes from Florida and Russia, we do get some from Texas as well.”