HOPA ports in Oshawa and Hamilton record strong 2022 despite global issues

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Published February 15, 2023 at 1:53 pm

The Port of Oshawa was busy in 2022 with major dredging work to widen and deepen the shipping channel

Just under half a million metric tonnes of goods passed through the Port of Oshawa last year, a total that was moderately lower than 2021 as a result of lower finished steel and fertilizer shipments.

But there was still plenty of activity at the Oshawa harbour in 2022 as the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) completed major maintenance dredging at the Port of Oshawa, widening and deepening the approach channel in order to maintain depth at the dock.

“This work is critically important, because we are maintaining a safe navigation channel for the vessels to come and go to Port of Oshawa,” said Jonathan Wetselaar, Director, Engineering and Construction at HOPA Ports.

The dredging was part of a major capital improvement project at the port, which will see more than $32 million invested in revitalized dock infrastructure, interior roadways, new grain storage capacity and other enhancements to build supply chain capacity and regional economic impact.

HOPA also extended its commitment to sustainability with the introduction of a new Environmental Fund to support port tenants in improving their environmental footprint. The program funds up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $50,000 per project.

“Our port partners have done some great thinking to bring forward innovative projects that will help them reduce their environmental impact,” said Sara Yonson, Environmental Manager at HOPA Ports. “A total of $250,000 was allocated in 2022, supporting projects like electric vehicles, energy conservation, air quality improvements and tree planting.”

The Environmental Fund program is fully subscribed for 2023 with projects already in the works.

The war in Ukraine had a major impact on shipping in both Oshawa and Hamilton in 2022, as the majority of urea-based fertilizer used on Ontario farms traditionally originates in the Baltic region. As Canadian importers sought out new sources of this commodity the total amount shipped through the two ports declined by 25 per cent over 2021.

Oshawa’s total tonnage of 481,318 metric tonnes was dwarfed by their big brothers in Hamilton, who handled 9.8 million metric tonnes in 2022, with agri-food commodities continuing to be the port’s strongest growth sector, reaching 33 per cent of overall tonnage for the first time. The port handled more than a million metric tonnes of soybeans and 1.5 million metric tonnes of wheat and corn, in addition to receiving the most raw sugar ever in Hamilton at 85,000 metric tonnes – destined for refining and use by food manufacturers in the region.

“We know that food security at home and abroad is a major concern. We’re proud of our port partners who are manufacturing essential products like sugar, flour and cooking oil for use locally, as well as our export terminals who are delivering high-quality Ontario-grown grain around the world,” said Ian Hamilton, President and CEO of HOPA Ports.

All told, the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) saw a total of 10,366,810 metric tonnes of cargo transiting the two ports. A total of 628 vessels visited during the 2022 season: 569 in Hamilton and 59 in Oshawa.

Both Hamilton and Oshawa ports are poised for growth. In 2022, HOPA Ports announced major infrastructure projects for Hamilton and Oshawa contributing to the largest capital budget in the port authority’s history, with $45 million planned for development in 2023.

HOPA is also continuing its expansion into Niagara Region with support from civic and industry partners. The Thorold Multimodal Hub doubled in size with the addition of a new 170-acre property adding 500,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space, new transportation assets, and development land.

COMMODITY (2022 Hamilton & Oshawa tonnage)

  • Steel products – 854,927
  • Ore – 2,914,825
  • Grain (including soybeans) – 2,727,051
  • Fertilizer – 494,463
  • General cargo + containers – 24,811
  • Coal – 1,309,011
  • Coke – 378,964
  • Salt – 340,257
  • Stone – 414,920
  • Cement – 141,078
  • Gypsum – 244,652
  • Petroleum products – 355,062
  • Liquid products – 45,407
  • Other – 121,384

TOTAL – 10,366,812

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