The first vessel of 2015 arrived in Hamilton Harbour in the early hours of April 6, marking the beginning of the 2015 shipping season at the port. MV Pacific Huron arrived carrying a load of steel coils from Spain and Italy, to be unloaded at Federal Marine Terminals’ facility at Pier 12. 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 Captain Oleg Yarovoy with the ceremonial Top Hat, as part of an annual Port tradition. 

Port officials are optimistic about the 2015 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 & CEO Bruce Wood.  “As the season’s inaugural shipment illustrates, finished steel is a critical component of the Port’s total cargo tonnage.” More than a half-million tonnes of finished steel transited the Port of Hamilton in 2014, feeding a robust domestic manufacturing sector. The outlook remains strong for 2015.

Other cargoes continue to increase as a proportion of the total. For example, agricultural commodities now make up 19 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 close to $300 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.