Banner year for grain shipments at port
Cargo trending 17 per cent higher compared to last year
Agricultural product shipments in Hamilton Harbour have more than doubled over the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2017.
As further evidence of a banner year, Hamilton Port Authority officials say Friday, at one point, the harbour had 11 ships, most of them picking up agricultural products.
The number of ships may have been a record, said Ian Hamilton, CEO and president of the Hamilton Port Authority.
Shipments of agricultural products are up by 109 per cent in the January- to-September
2018 total, relative to the same period in 2017. Cargo overall is trending 17 per cent higher than last year.
The results are noteworthy because the port authority over the past several years has been trying diversify beyond products related to steelmaking.
In particular, the port authority has invested heavily with private partners in grain terminal facilities with a focus on winter wheat, corn, soya beans and canola. The terminals take the products from trucks and keep grains in silos until they are picked up by ships.
One outcome of the increased terminal capacity, Hamilton said, is that Hamilton-area farmers
This year has been strong, in part, because of increasing trade as a result of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union as well as a drought in Europe leading to grain traders looking to North American markets, he said.
More than 60 per cent of all the grains exported from Ontario go through the port of Hamilton, said Hamilton. “Compared to 10 or 15 years ago, our volume would have quadrupled,” he said.
Five empty ships moored in Hamilton Harbour are seen from the Niagara Escarpment. Shipments of agricultural products are up 109 per cent.
CEO Ian Hamilton