Sylvie VAchon at the maritime strategy conference
Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Port of Montreal, is applauding the Quebec government for the maritime strategy it developed.
“The integrated strategy proposed by the government is excellent news for the Quebec economy!” Sylvie Vachon delivered her message to marine industry representatives gathered at the conference on Quebec’s maritime strategy organized by Les Affaires, on February 10 in Montreal.
She stressed the importance of the St. Lawrence River and invited the government to see it as its main transport infrastructure: “Over 135 million tonnes of cargo move on it every year. We call it the St. Lawrence freeway.”
The CEO expressed the Port of Montreal’s impact as a unique and major economic driver in numbers: $41 billion worth of goods handled annually, including $2.1 billion for Quebec; 16,000 permanent jobs for all of Canada, including 7,000 directly related to marine and port activities in Quebec. In turn, the Port of Montreal is the decision-making centre for Quebec and Canadian marine transportation, as the majority of shipping companies are headquartered in Montreal.
The Port of Montreal’s strategic vision dovetails with the government’s, and its actions are aligned with most of the maritime strategy’s action components. Both target traffic growth. Sylvie Vachon listed four ways to achieve this objective:
- Provide value-added services to clients. A good example is the cleaning and containerization operations of agricultural products at CanEst Transit on land adjacent to the docks.
- Create partnerships at home and abroad. The partnership with the Port of Antwerp is one example.
- Target new markets. To do so, the Port has set up a business intelligence team and posted representatives in Europe, Asia and the United States.
- Increase container-handling capacity. Developing a space in the Viau sector that can accommodate 600,000 containers meets this objective. The new container terminal will be launched in the fall of 2016. In the longer term, the Port of Montreal plans to keep increasing its capacity by building container terminals on its land in Contrecoeur.