Port of Montreal in Asia

Following the United States and Europe, the Port of Montreal now has a representative in Asia.

Even though it is literally on the other side of the world, Asia is a market with great potential for the Port of Montreal. Huge vessels leave Asian ports bound for the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal. At Mediterranean ports, they transload containers onto smaller ships that sail to the North American East Coast. “The Port of Montreal has all of the advantages necessary to be very competitive on this route,” says Tony Boemi.

The Port of Montreal’s vice-president of growth and development has just returned from a two-week trip to Hong Kong, Vietnam and India. On this chilly Monday at the end of October, not even jet lag can put a damper on his enthusiasm. “Two-thirds of the population of North America lives east of the Mississippi,” Boemi says. “With Montreal being so far inland, shippers can maximize the maritime portion of the transportation of their goods, and we all know that transport by ship is the most economic way to move goods. Asian carriers are very receptive to this argument.”

From left: George Malec, Port of Halifax, Lonny Kubas, Canadian National, Vee Kachroo, Canadian National, Alison Winsor, Port of Halifax, Tony Boemi, Port of Montreal, Ajay Singh, Canadian National and Port of Halifax representative.

This move into Asia is a first for the Port of Montreal. “Many of the people we have spoken with are not very familiar with Quebec and the St. Lawrence River, and they have now discovered that the Port of Montreal is a gateway to American markets,” Boemi says. CN invited the Port of Montreal to join the delegation, which also included officials from the Port of Halifax. The delegation met with hundreds of shipping line and import-export representatives during the trip.

The trade mission to Asia is the third step in the Port of Montreal’s efforts to be much more visible on an international scale. The Port of Montreal has had representatives in the United States and in Europe for three and two years, respectively, and added a representative in Hong Kong a few weeks ago.

In Detroit, Donald Finnerty, of Night Global Solutions, has 24 years of experience in international transportation. Most notably, he has held senior positions with CP Ships and Canada Maritime. He was also president of Aseco Container Services.

In Genoa, Italy, the Port of Montreal is represented by Giulio Schenone and James Wannell of the Medov maritime agency. Their mandate is to develop the European market not only for cargo but also within the cruise industry.

In Hong Kong, Jeremy Masters was president of Canada Maritime and worked for CP Ships. He lived in Montreal for 14 years and is very well acquainted with the port. He know lives in Hong Kong, where he founded Shipping Masters seven years ago.

Don Finnerty   

James Wannell     

Jeremy Masters