The Port of Montreal’s plans for growth are outlined in an interview with Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), and Tony Boemi, VP growth and development.
The past few years have seen the Port of Montreal post healthy gains in total and container traffic while pursuing infrastructure and capacity expansion projects. A force to reckon with in North Atlantic container business in close competition especially with the Port of NY/NJ, latest statistics indicate Montreal is well on track to achieving another overall cargo record in 2016 thanks to a comparable box throughput to 2015 and robust increases in grain and liquid bulk volumes.
Clearly, Montreal has the wind in its sails, underscored by the recent addition of a new container facility aimed at helping the port to better respond to present and future demand, including the arrival of larger ships.
Last year, Canada’s second biggest port after Vancouver handled 32 million metric tons of cargo. The container component translated into a record high of nearly 1.5 million TEU.
Interviewed by the American Journal of Transportation, Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), and Tony Boemi, VP growth and development, shared their views on the potential of this key Canadian gateway on the eastern seaboard.
AJOT: What are the strategic advantages of Montreal as a North American multimodal gateway? And can it continue to compete effectively with Halifax and U.S. East Coast ports enhancing their capabilities to handle larger containerships?
Vachon: Ranked the largest container port in Eastern Canada and the second largest in the country, one of our main advantages continues to be our strategic location. Our position, 1,000 miles inland from the Atlantic coast, places us at the centre of Eastern Canada and within proximity of the U.S. Midwest and U.S. Northeast consumer markets and distribution centers. In effect, we provide access to 40 million consumers within one trucking day and to 70 million consumers within two rail days.
Being the only port of call on the North American loop (for a number of carrier services), the Port of Montreal is a unique model benefiting from the fully loading and unloading of container vessels. As a dedicated port of call, carriers recognize the efficiencies of our multimodal platform. Our proven on-dock rail known as The Montreal Model enables us to provide reliable and fluid services, valued by our supply chain partners.
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