The first domestic vessel of 2014 arrived in Hamilton Harbour on April 4, marking the beginning of the 2014 shipping season. The Algoma Guardian arrived from Montreal carrying a load of iron ore destined for ArcelorMittal Dofasco at Pier 21. Port of Hamilton welcomes more than 600 vessels each season, which runs through the end of December.
Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) officials greeted the vessel, presenting Captains Ian Macfie and Craig Ball with the ceremonial Top Hat, as part of an annual Port tradition.
Port officials are optimistic about the 2014 shipping season. “We had a slightly late start as a result of the icy winter, but we are ready for a busy year now that we’re rolling,” said HPA President and CEO Bruce Wood. As the season’s inaugural shipment illustrates, steel-related cargo is a critical component of the Port’s total cargo tonnage, representing approximately three-quarters of the total. Other cargoes continue to increase as a proportion of the total. For example, agricultural commodities now make up 18 per cent of the Port’s tonnage, up from 10 per cent in 2009. This increase has been the result of substantial investments in terminal capacity. “Together with our tenants, we are investing heavily in terminal facilities to handle a wide range of cargo types,” said Bruce Wood. The Port has attracted more than $200 million in investment in recent years, including new asphalt cement, fertilizer and grain terminals.
The largest Canadian port on the Great Lakes, the port of Hamilton handles 28 per cent of all of the cargo that travels through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway.