Hamilton’s burgeoning grain handling business is one reason the St. Lawrence Seaway was able to report a strong October. Canadian grain shipments reached 1.2 million tonnes in October, an increase of 39 per cent over the same month last year. Year-to-date Canadian grain shipments are now at 5 million tonnes, up 1 per cent from the same period last season. Close to a million tonnes passed through Hamilton’s two large terminals Richardson International and Parrisdh and Heimbecker Ian Hamilton, Vice President, business development, said, “We think there is an opportunity to grow our share of the grain business from the Port of Hamilton.” While much of the grain shipped from Hamilton was bound for the European Union, there were also shipments to the US as a result of the widespread drought this past summer in many states. “ We sent corn to the US to feed some of the ethanol plants down there,” he said.
For the Seaway, year-to-date total cargo shipments from March 22 to October 31 rose to 29.5 million tonnes, up 1.4 per cent over the same period last year.
More than 380,254 tonnes of grain passed through the Port of Hamilton in October. That was more than half of the 786,495 tonnes of grain (soybeans, wheat, corn and barley) shipped through the port so far this season.
Other highlights in St. Lawrence Seaway cargo trade included strong shipments of iron ore with continued growth in exports. Year-to-date iron ore shipments totaled 8.5 million tonnes, up 20 per cent. Year-to-date general cargo, which includes over-sized cargo like wind turbines and heavy machinery as well as steel slabs and coils, totalled 1.56 million tonnes — up 9 per cent from the same period last year.