Grain exports via Hamilton increased by 13 per cent last year over 2012 and fertilizer imports increased by two per cent.
As the steel industry declines and shipments of grains and fertilizers increase, agriculture is becoming more prominent and important to the city and the Hamilton Port Authority.
Grain exports totaled 1.3 million tonnes of soybeans, canola, wheat and corn, most of it grown by southern Ontario farmers for export to global markets.
“We have seen the Port of Hamilton emerge as a critical link in Ontario’s agricultural economy, and our growing tonnages reflect the value we provide to the hardworking agricultural producers throughout the region,” said Bruce Wood, president and chief executive officer of the Hamilton Port Authority.
An additional 540 rail cars moved in and out of the port last year, bringing the total to more than 3,800 rail cars.
“We are working closely with our tenants to understand their need for increased rail capacity and storage,” said Wood.
He said the port is putting infrastructure in place “to allow cargo to move seamlessly between marine, rail and truck, depending on what is most efficient for the customer on a given shipment.
“We’re making sure our customers have access to the right mode, at the right time,” he said.
Among those who have expanded capacity at the port are Bunge International, which has an oilseeds crushing plant, Richardson International and Parrish and Heimbecker Ltd.