Daniel Olivier is Director, Business Intelligence and Innovation for the Montreal Port Authority (MPA). His mission is to implement technological tools that improve the fluidity and visibility of cargo shipments, processes, cybersecurity and the Port of Montreal’s ecological footprint. Through innovation, the Port of Montreal is reaching out to the world and successfully meeting not only the needs of its client companies, but also—and chiefly—those of consumers in Greater Montreal and the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

Enlisting AI against the pandemic

Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to optimize the ecosystem and leverage our expertise hands-on. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we used our CargO2AI algorithm to intelligently and autonomously identify shipments of medical products on an official government list. As a result, the team was able to track the progress of these vessels and ensure faster deliveries. This is a great example of how applied innovation can make a real difference in a crisis situation.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we used our CargO2AI algorithm to intelligently and autonomously identify shipments of medical products on an official government list.

A smart turnaround to Montreal

Director Olivier holds a PhD in Economic Geography (Maritime Transport) from the University of Hong Kong and a Certificate in Supply Chain Management from Georgia Tech. Why did you choose the Port of Montreal? “I came back because I feel connected to Montreal and for ethical reasons. I was exposed to global best practices during my four-year stay in Asia. Between 2002 and 2006, Chinese ports were booming. Their cargo volumes were much higher. It was integral to my career path and ethics to bring that knowledge home.”

Clean energy for a healthy planet

Several initiatives are underway or in development to reduce the Port’s carbon footprint and drive change in the city. The Port of Montreal is one of the first in Canada to refuel vessels with liquefied natural gas, a much cleaner fuel than oil. Shore power is another noteworthy measure, as it lets docked cruise ships and wintering vessels connect to the grid. This cut 3,200 tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2020! The signing of a cooperation and development agreement in June 2021 with Greenfield Global, which specializes in producing biofuels, will make it possible to pool expertise for the indirect electrification of the marine industry.

The Port of Montreal is one of the first in Canada to power vessels with liquefied natural gas, a much cleaner fuel than oil.

Beyond technology to social responsibility

The Port of Montreal is socially committed. The team strives to make a difference in its host community by implementing solutions to ensure harmonious cohabitation and by supporting community organizations. For example, in partnership with Accueil Bonneau, the Port converted the Grand Quay Cruise Terminal to accommodate homeless people in the winter of 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis.

Daniel Olivier explained that the innovation agenda is headed in the same direction. His challenge over the next five years is to position the Port of Montreal as an innovative port in the technological, environmental and social spheres.

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The number of stakeholders involved in handling a single container. This makes communication and data exchange crucial, as they can quickly block the transactional process. If a customs officer doesn’t get the required information on time, the container is delayed… and we don’t get our package on time!

$100 billion

The Port of Montreal handles more than $100 billion worth of goods a year... That’s $275 million a day!

 
Discover how the Port aligns intelligence and performance
 

Local heroes

Hundreds of local businesses work with the Port of Montreal every day to connect the public with their favourite products and services. But who is behind this colossal task? Meet some of our partners here.  

AVANAA Chocolate

Catherine Goulet’s innovative approach to chocolate supports the local economy by helping cocoa farmers thousands of miles away.

 

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The couple behind Épices de cru

Spice enthusiasts Ethné and Philippe de Vienne have been delighting Montrealers with flavours from around the world for over 30 years.

 

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