The vast majority of the cargo — roughly 90% or 9mt (million metric tonnes) on average — that comes through the Port of Hamilton annually is dry bulk. This cargo supports major local industries such as steel-making (iron ore), agriculture (crop inputs, grain, beans, sugar, and salt) and construction (aggregates, like gypsum, quartz, sand and stone).
Continued investment in agri-food operations at the port of Hamilton over the past decade has helped grow this sector into a $1 billion business locally. With over C$350 million in private sector investment, the Hamilton–Oshawa Port Authority (or HOPA Ports) has expanded storage, berthing space and export capacity for terminal operators, manufacturers and logistics companies that carry dry bulk. In 2020 alone, new storage space and marine infrastructure for sugar and grain at Pier 10 will provide 225,000 tonnes of additional grain export capacity per year, while also taking thousands of trucks off the road. New food-grade warehousing at Pier 15 will also allow for more efficient storage and handling of bulk cargo and food products, in close proximity to the US/Canada border.
HOPA Ports has successfully reconfigured its real estate assets to bring together complementary bulk/agri-food businesses in clusters along its port lands, increasing connectivity and efficiency for its partners. Now that it has amalgamated with Oshawa, the team is working on developing a land use plan to guide a similar, integrated growth and business develop­ment on the other side of Lake Ontario.
There is room for industrial growth in Oshawa, and HOPA Ports is actively seeking new business opportunities. “We’re exploring many new opportunities for dry bulk commodities and other cargo types in Oshawa,” Michael Peace, Business Development Analyst. “We are currently working on a port development plan will help provide a framework for new projects and future economic development, and the case for major infrastructure upgrades. There are a lot of exciting things happening in Durham, and Oshawa’s port is a key gateway to the most densely populated area of Southern Ontario and international markets through the St Lawrence Seaway.”
Dry bulk makes up just over half of the cargo that moves through the port of Oshawa every year. It has been a popular destination for salt and cement and we see both having room to expand. However, a new grain terminal by Sollio Ag and QSL built last autumn has now added direct export capacity for farmers across Durham region.