Cargo volumes exceeded 10.5 million metric tonnes (MT) at the newly-amalgamated ports of Hamilton and Oshawa in 2019.

The Port of Hamilton saw cargo volumes totaling just over 10 million MT, comprised of steelmaking commodities, grain, fertilizer, aggregates, road fuel and others.

The ports of Hamilton and Oshawa were amalgamated into a single entity in June, now known as HOPA Ports, creating a more integrated approach to marine transportation in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). As transportation bookends to the region, the two ports serve Canada’s largest consumer market and manufacturing centre with essential commodities and raw materials.

2019’s results were slightly down from 2018, when an extraordinary season saw a ‘perfect storm’ of bumper Ontario grain crops, while global trade wars caused surges in steel and agricultural commodity movements. HOPA Ports’ results were consistent with those of the Seaway generally, lower relative to 2018’s banner year, but showing overall strength and a positive five-year trend.

“We can do very little to influence international trade wars, and we can do even less about the weather,” noted HOPA’s Ian Hamilton. “What we can do is make sure our ports are investing in trade-enabling infrastructure and expanding their capacity to handle more cargo.”

Several major infrastructure projects were underway or completed at HOPA’s two port facilities in 2019, aimed at growing port capacity and improving efficiency.

In Hamilton, work continued on the $35 million Westport redevelopment project, with new dock walls, rail connections, and warehousing capacity under construction. HOPA also announced a $16 million redevelopment of the Pier 10 area into a food cluster, with new infrastructure to support grain handling, flour milling and sugar refining.