The Port of Montreal is partnering with Centech to create the first port innovation accelerator in North America
The Port of Montreal is pleased to announce that a new milestone has been reached in its development strategy focused on innovation and visionary technologies. As of today, it is partnering with the Centre for Technological Entrepreneurship (Centech) and École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) to launch a port logistics innovation unit, the first of its kind in North America. This puts it at the forefront of the marine sector’s movement towards a future where emerging technologies, efficiency and sustainable development go hand in hand.
This announcement was made as part of the third edition of chainPORT Academy, which is taking place from September 5 to 7 in Montreal, hosted by the Port. This seminar organized by the international network of smart ports chainPORT brings together representatives of smart parts from around the world to share knowledge, interact and together, build a common vision for the future of marine transportation. The Port of Montreal has been a member of chainPORT since 2017.
A space conducive to innovation
Established in the new business premises of Centech, in the former Montreal Planetarium in the core of Montreal’s innovation district, this innovation unit offers a meeting space between experts from the Port of Montreal and technology start-ups, alongside PhD students from several universities.
Harnessing the resources of these various stakeholders to focus on the same objectives, the new port innovation accelerator is a basic lever for the advancement of technological solutions in the service of marine transportation.
Imagining the marine transportation of tomorrow
Four innovation themes focused on port logistics challenges will guide the unit’s work:
- Supply chain visibility and freight mobility
- Process improvement and agility
- Supply chain decarbonization
One of the projects underway is an augmented reality program through a partnership with the firm PreVu3D, aimed at three-dimensional modelling of port locations and facilities. Once completed, such a tool will make it possible to improve infrastructure planning, optimize space or tour the Port’s facilities in virtual reality. Starting in 2019, other partners of the Port of Montreal will be invited to join the port innovation accelerator. This means that it is taking a collaborative approach to tackle shared transversal challenges common to the various stakeholders in the supply chain.
Heading to another record year in the container sector at the Port of Montreal
After taking stock of its commercial activities as at July 31, the MPA is on the way for another record year in the container sector, given that several records have already been broken.
During the first seven months of the year, the Port handled 960,751 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This is an increase of 8.3% over last year’s figures on the same date. In May 2018 alone, a total of 153,235 TEUs were handled in a single month, something never before seen at the Port of Montreal. July 2018 also scores high in the record books, with a 24.7% increase in tonnes of imported containers compared to July 2017. Food products are mainly responsible for this upswing, followed by forest products and metal products. Turning to the countries of origin of these imports, Asia and Africa had a notable growth, while Europe holds the top spot with a 57% increase in its imports compared to 2017.
This is excellent news reflecting the dynamic economic ties between Canada and the European Union, further strengthened by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Because of this, a new container service operated by Maersk and Hambürg Sud that connects Montreal to the Mediterranean countries saw its first container ship, the Cap Portland, arrive in Montreal on July 26.
Tony Boemi, Vice-President, Growth
Tony Boemi re-elected President of Cruise the Saint Lawrence (CSL)
Cruise the Saint Lawrence held its annual general meeting last June, during which its members were asked to appoint the association’s board of directors. Tony Boemi, Vice-President, Growth and Development at the Port of Montreal, was re-elected president of the CSL for a new two-year term. Also on the board are Nancy Houley, Vice-President of Port of Quebec and Renée Dumas, Secretary-Treasurer of Cruise Baie-Comeau.
CSL is a sectoral association of the nine ports of call along the St. Lawrence River. Its mission is to grow Quebec’s cruise market by providing marketing and development services to its members. CSL is supported by its partners Tourism Québec, Québec Tourism Industry Alliance and Economic Development Canada.
In ten years, CSL has doubled the number of cruise lines visiting the river during the cruise season, from 15 in 2008 to 30 this year. At the end of this season, which began in May, the nine ports of call will have logged more than 500,000 passenger-days, amounting to a 30% increase in passenger numbers compared to the 2017 season.