Hamilton, Oshawa ports enjoy booming 2021 business – expansion into Niagara next


Published April 29, 2022 at 10:45 am

The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) enjoyed booming business during the 2021 shipping season – especially in Hamilton – but a planned upgrade to its port facilities has Oshawa harbour poised to make similar growth.

Hamilton Port recorded 10.8 million metric tonnes this past season – surpassing 2020’s total by almost one million metric tonnes of cargo and climbing six per cent ahead of its five-year average. Growth of agriculture-related commodities, driven by increases in wheat, corn, fertilizer and a whopping 91 per cent increase this year in raw sugar, helped fuel the surge in shipping,

Hamilton also saw significant gains in petroleum, sand, quartz, slag and finished steel for the transportation and construction sectors. Overseas cargo tonnages increased 35 per cent and Hamilton’s rail cargo has also doubled over the past five years.

Steel and grain shipments make up more than half of all cargo at the two ports, but significant totals of fertilizer and potash; salt; sand, stone and cement; and petroleum (including asphalt) also came in and out of the harbours.

A total of 600 vessels visited Hamilton harbour in 2021.

Oshawa’s port welcomed 78 ships in 2021 and while the numbers were down slightly from 2020 and pale in comparison to Hamilton, the Port of Oshawa did see increases in fertilizer and finished steel in 2021, and its total is still three per cent above the five-year average. Plans are to build on Oshawa’s current cargo levels by upgrading its port facilities and infrastructure in the coming years and increasing capacity for agricultural cargoes and the port’s allowable draft.

“Despite supply chain disruptions and volatility, HOPA Ports remains a reliable, resilient and ambitious partner,” said Ian Hamilton, President & CEO of HOPA Ports. “By raising the bar and continuing to invest in critical infrastructure, we can support Canada’s domestic capacity and trade potential, and push for better outcomes in 2022.”

Earlier in 2021, HOPA announced its expansion into Niagara Region. In partnership with local municipal leaders, HOPA launched the Niagara Ports plan for a suite of new properties in Thorold and along the Welland Canal. By lending its expertise in developing marine-industrial lands, HOPA has already been able to attract new industrial partners to the Thorold Multimodal Hub, like TORA Inc. and Canadian Maritime Engineering.

In Hamilton, several capital projects reached completion in 2021, including the $36-million Westport Modernization Project across piers 10-15. New storage facilities at pier 14 and food-grade warehousing at Pier 15 will also allow for more efficient storage and handling of bulk cargo and food products. Next year, HOPA’s engineering and design team will focus on a dedicated agri-food cluster at Pier 10 in Hamilton. This new storage space for sugar and grain and marine infrastructure will provide 225,000MT of additional capacity per year, while also taking thousands of trucks off the road.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising