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In pictures: The port of Hamilton's shipping transformation

From near-obscurity five years ago, agrifood has become a mainstay of Hamilton’s port, and the regional economy

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Sushin Kumar looks into the hold as a cargo ship is loaded with soybeans at the Parrish & Heimbecker grain terminal in the port of Hamilton.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

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Trucks line up to unload soybeans, which are then transferred by conveyers to a cargo ship. Parrish & Heimbecher invested $20-million to build two 30,000-tonne multi-use storage domes, capable of handling everything from soybean and sugar to fertilizer.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

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A cargo ship is loaded with soybeans by a conveyor. Agricultural tonnage shipped through the port of Hamilton doubled between 2008 and 2012 to a record of more than 1.6 million tonnes, led by exports of one million tonnes of soybeans last year.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

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A cargo ship is loaded with soybeans. This year is expected to be even better as a bumper crop of soybeans, corn and wheat is harvested across Ontario.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

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The port of Hamilton has attracted $200-million in new investment, including $40-million in various agriculture-related projects, such as new and expanded storage and handling for grains and fertilizer.

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A red laker is docked in the port of Hamilton with U.S. Steel (formerly Stelco) in the rear. Steel shipments are down 35 per cent so far this year from 2012. Shipments of coke, a key steel-making input, are down 92 per cent.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

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The Hamilton port authority is looking for additional land to feed future expansion, much of it linked to agrifood – already a $1.3-billion industry in the city.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

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Tug boats sit docked in the port of Hamilton with the city in the rear. The port has ambitious plans to boost tonnage capacity by expanding rail links that would double the length of trains that can access the harbour to 100 cars from 50.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

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