Wolfgang Schoch, managing director of Hapag-Lloyd (Canada) Inc., is not shy about extolling the strategic hub role the Port of Montreal plays in the transatlantic trade of the German shipping line.
Interviewed in his Montreal office, he declared: “Montreal, in fact, is our most important port in North America, with more container throughput in 2015 than Los Angeles and Long Beach combined.”
For Hapag-Lloyd, the transatlantic trade via Montreal and Halifax accounts for one fifth of its global container volume of 7.5 million TEU. And significantly enough, this Hamburg-based carrier utilizes Montreal as its main gateway not only for the Canadian market but also for the U.S. market.
“Nearly 50% of our export cargo via Montreal comes from the United States,” he said, pointing to such shippers as Ford, GM and John Deere.
One third of the import cargo transported by Hapag-Lloyd via Montreal has a final destination in the United States.
“In Montreal, we have a market share of 38%, and in Halifax it’s 24%,” said Schoch. “We became very strong in Canada after merging with CP Ships in 2005. Our first liner services to Canada go back to 1892.”
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